The late 1960s and early 1970s marked a period of political and social turmoil in Japan. The country was struggling to forge a new identity on the world stage, and Japanese artists were seeking a medium that could adequately respond to these uncertain times. For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979 explores in depth, for the first time, the role of photography in the formation of contemporary art in Japan.
This groundbreaking exhibition presents some 250 works: photographs, photo books, paintings, sculpture, and film-based installations. The unprecedented survey demonstrates how 29 Japanese artists and photographers enlisted the camera to make experimental and conceptual shifts in their artistic practices during a time of radical societal change.
For a New World to Come draws from the MFAH collections and features loans from partner institutions in Japan, including the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. The exhibition sheds light on the intense search for new directions in Japanese art and photography in the 1970s. Many of the important experimental works on view are little known outside of Japan and have never been seen by U.S. audiences.
The comprehensive illustrated catalogue, published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and distributed by Yale University Press, is available through The MFAH Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum's Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).