Japanese Contemporary Art

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Japanese Contemporary Art is art created by young Japanese artists or post-war (after WWII) era Japanese art. Japanese contemporary art should not be confused with traditional Japanese art. The most important figure in Japanese contemporary art today is the Tokyo-based artist Takashi Murakami. Murakami is not just the biggest name in Japanese contemporary art, he is also one of the most well know, influential, and high priced contemporary artists in the world.

Japanese contemporary art is a mixture of modern and classic art styles, often including elements of Anime, Manga, or other popular culture. Japanese contemporary art is a stand of Japanese art that is best known for its combination of classic aesthetics from Japan’s long, tumultuous past, and its more recent accentuation of western cultural trends and styles. Classically, Japanese art sought the deeper spiritual roots of its subjects rather than the superficial appearances – however modern art has become more attached to these material possessions, creating in many ways a commentary on how the two intermingle.


Contemporary Art Styles

Japanese artwork in today's cultural atmosphere retains many of the aesthetics of Japanese history while being fully aware of the modern curb of technology and internationalism. Many Japanese artists have taken western styles and aesthetics to heart while combining them with traditional Japanese identity and have created a new form of art that has reverberated and permeated other cultures.

While most Japanese contemporary art involves painting, photography, video, or sculpture like contemporary western art, Japanese crafts such as the shoji, tatami, kabuki masks, and other Japanese native traditions are sometimes used in contemporary pieces while many other pieces focus on how art can be found in the everyday lives of people around Japan. Magnification of these everyday practices – from taking the subway to navigating the busy streets of Tokyo are all utilized within a framework of Japanese traditionalism to create modern art work.

Many of the most recent Japanese contemporary artists have focused intensely on the framework of city life as more than 75% of the Japanese population lives in the metropolitan stretch of land between Tokyo and Osaka.

Notable Contemporary Artists

Notable contemporary Japanese artists have arisen in the 20th century and beyond to include some of the best known new voices in art, ranging from painters and sculptors to fashion designers and electronic artists.

Notable Contemporary Galleries

There are many contemporary art galleries in Japan, and most of them are in Tokyo. Here are a few of the most influential and well known of those galleries.

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