Dec. 9, 1967, Zero Jigen (Yoshihiro Kato) “全裸防毒面歩行儀式 (Zenra-Boudokumen-Hoko-Gishiki)” Photo by Mitsutoshi Hanaga
Mitsutoshi Hanaga Archives Project
7.23 – 8.20. 2016
Photo No,(pdf): Social situation Butoh Theater Avantgarde
Date: July.23 (Sat) – August.20 (Sat), 2016
Opening Reception: July. 23 (Sat), 2016, 19 – 21 pm
Wednesday – Saturday: 12 – 19 pm
Sundays and National Holidays: 12 – 18 pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Date: August.13(sat), 16 pm –
Venue: Aoyama Meguro
Yoshitaro Inami (Curator, Setagaya Literary Museum)
Aoyama Meguro is pleased to announce our new exhibition “Mitsutoshi Hanaga Archives Project” beginning from July 23 through August 20. Based on four themes of avant-garde art, Butoh (avant-garde dance), theater, and social situation, around 200 photographs, selected from the archive of Mitsutoshi Hanaga, etc., will be exhibited.
Mitsutoshi Hanaga was born in Tokyo, 1933. He went through the turbulent times from the late 1950s to 1980s when Japanese society experienced a drastic transition and he left behind a huge amount of photographs throughout his lifetime.
While living in postwar Japan, which was burdened with various contradictions and social issues, Hanaga continued to record the reality of diverse scenes such as avant-garde art, underground theater, current events, the pollution issue, the student movement, Butoh, and the commune movement through photography from a perspective of the weak and outcast. The existence of Hanaga, who continued to focus on struggling youths seeking their meaning of existence by close contact, has legendarily been remembered and thought of as “an artist behind a system.”
However, in recent years, along with the full picture of his photographic works is being revealed, the existence of Hanaga is attracting remarkable attention internationally not only as “a witness of the era” and “a photographer,” but also in the context of performance art, saying “his radical, repeated actions themselves, shooting while intervening in the locale, would be considered as his artistic expression.”
A talk event, etc., will be held during the term of the exhibition. This will be announced on our website once details are decided.
Please come and view this exhibition where a door into a fresh examination of the transition of postwar Japanese society and the history of avant-garde art will be opened to you through the eyes of Mitsutoshi Hanaga.
Information of releasing a new book:
Mitsutoshi Hanaga 一〇〇〇
Oct.10, 1964, Hi Red Center “Dropping Event” Photo by Mitsutoshi Hanaga
Organizer: Mitsutoshi Hanaga Archives Project
Grants: Arts Council Tokyo
Mitsutoshi Hanaga Biography
1933 Born in Otsuka, Tokyo.
1956 Entered the Faculty of Art of the Bunka Gakuin.
1958 Graduated from the Faculty of Art of the Bunka Gakuin. Later served as a lecturer in the college from 1965 to 1968.
1959 – 60 Attracted to the works of Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, created a photogram “décalcomanie” in his own way. During its exhibition at “NELKEN,” a café-gallery at Koenji, he met Shuzo Takiguchi.
1961 Held the first solo exhibition at Daiichi Gallery (Shinjuku, Tokyo). Having been discovered by Shigene Kanamaru, Takachiyo Uemura, and photographer Hisae Imai, he became an assistant to Imai.
1962 Became a freelance photographer. Published photos which dealt with social issues and avant-garde expressions/activities through photo journalistic or art magazines. During 1962 and 1965, his documentary photos on young people were appeared in “Weekly Heibon” and other photos in “Weekly Josei” magazines, etc. During 1962 and 1968, held his 2nd to 8th solo exhibitions at Daiichi Gallery and Muramatsu Gallery.
1964 His photos were appeared in “LIFE” and “LIFE International” magazines.
1965 – 68 Documentary photos from visiting young artists, and photos of the little theater movement and Butoh (avant-garde dance) appeared in magazines such as “Bijutsu Techo” and “Ohara School of Ikebana.”
1968 – 70 Photos on contemporary art, Butoh, little theater, the adult entertainment business, and social issues appeared in “Fujinkoron” and “Asahi Graph” magazines.
1971 – 75 Serialized photo travel stories in “Weekly Asahi,” published by the Asahi Shimbun Company. Serialized a column named “NowNow (currently named ‘Dekigotology’)” in that magazine.
1972 – 79 Published reportage on art, photo travel story, and documentary photos in magazines such as “Bijutsu Techo,” “Geijutsu Shincho,” and “Geijutsu Seikatsu.”
During 1972 and 1978, held his 9th to 11th solo exhibitions at Ginza Kaigakan and Shimizu Gallery (Ogikubo, Tokyo).
1979 Participated in an exhibition titled “TOKYOTEN” at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
1981 – 83 Planned Shinchosha’s new photo magazine “FOCUS.” He himself was active as a reporter.
1982 Held a solo exhibition at Gallery Shunju (Ginza, Tokyo). Invited to the photo exhibition at Festival d’Avignon in France. The exhibition toured 15 cities in France until 1983.
1983 Invited by Centre Pompidou in Paris to hold an exhibition of his photos and slides. Also held an autograph session at Flammarion bookstore within the Centre Pompidou, commemorating the publication of his photo book “The Butoh.” Held a solo exhibition at Nantes, France.
1984 Held a solo exhibition at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Held an exhibition of two artists at Gallery White in Israel. Invited to exhibit his artwork in the Video category at the Venice Biennale. Held an exhibition of positive named “Hypochondelicious” at Gallery Shunju.
1985 Participated in a Butoh festival. Held an exhibition named “The Return of Butoh Photos” at Toshiba Ginza Seven hosted by the Japan Culture Group and a solo exhibition at Gallery Shunju. Invited to exhibit his artwork at the Horizont Festival in Berlin.
1999 Passed away in December.
2014 Gallery Kochuten and Aoyama Meguro held an exhibition at Art Fair Tokyo 2014 named “Total Recall ─ Works of Mitsutoshi Hanaga (1959-1999)” through which the documentary photos of Hanaga were introduced on a full scale. An exhibition “A Witness! Mitsutoshi Hanaga: Focusing on his works on ‘Butoh’” was held at Gallery Kochuten. His works were exhibited at the exhibition “The Age of Ashita no Joe” held at Nerima Art Museum. Started from Chiba City Museum of Art, the exhibition titled “‘The Principles of Art’ by Genpei Akasegawa: From 1960s to the Present,” which featured his works, toured Oita Art Museum and Hiroshima City Contemporary Art Museum during 2014 and 2015.
2015 An exhibition, “Mitsutoshi HANAGA: The documentation photography of the Japanese avant-garde art and performance (1964-1973)” was held at Aoyama Meguro. His works were exhibited in the exhibition titled “Performing Arts in Asia” held at Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, Korea. Also exhibited in the exhibition “The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop” held at Tate Modern, London during 2015 and 2016.
2016 His works were exhibited in the exhibition “Butoh Photography” held at Weltkunstzimmer, Dusseldorf. Also exhibited in “The Emergence of the Contemporary: Avant-Garde Art in Japan, 1950-1970” held at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro. A book written by Reiko Tomii “Radicalism in the Wilderness: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan” (Cover photo: Mitsutoshi Hanaga) was published by The MIT Press. Further, his works are scheduled to be exhibited in an exhibition at Fri Art: Centre d’art de Fribourg in Switzerland.
June, 1968 “Kanda-Quartier-latin-Toso” Photo by Mitsutoshi Hanaga