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Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1901; died 1977.

Painter.

Constructivism.

Mavo Group.

Murayama Tomoyoshi went to Paris in 1921, where he was influenced by Cubism and Constructivism. On his return to Japan, as well as painting, he worked as a playwright and theatre producer. He founded the ...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Tokyo, Jan 18, 1901; d Tokyo, March 22, 1977).

Japanese writer, director and painter. Although he entered Tokyo Imperial University in 1921 with the intention of studying philosophy, he soon left to study in Berlin, where he became absorbed in painting and drama. Initially fascinated by the work of Vasily Kandinsky and by Constructivism, he later became dissatisfied with the detachment of Constructivist works from the concrete properties of objects; he decided it was possible to provoke concrete associations, and to obtain a variety of sensory effects using real or ‘ready-made’ objects. He named this method (a kind of collage or assemblage) ‘conscious constructivism’. An example of this is Construction (1925; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.)

On returning to Japan in 1923, he formed the small avant-garde group Mavo. He continued to exhibit works while publishing provocative criticism in art magazines and the Mavo magazine (founded in 1924). He immediately became a central figure in the avant-garde art movement of the Taisho period (...

Article

Shin’ichiro Osaki

(b Tokyo, May 4, 1904; d Yokohama, June 13, 2001).

Japanese painter and sculptor. Self-taught as an artist, in the 1920s he met David Burlyuk and others involved with such movements as Futurism, Constructivism and Dada. From 1931 Saitō concentrated on a career as an artist, initially producing Constructivist reliefs. At that time a celebrated incident occurred when he refused to exhibit pieces at the Nikakai (Second Division Society) exhibition on the grounds that his pieces were neither painting nor sculpture: he was first chosen for the Nikakai exhibition in 1936. In 1938, together with Jirō Yoshihara and Takeo Yamaguchi (1902–83), he established the ‘Room Nine Society’ (Kyūshitsukai) with artists of the Nikakai whose works tended towards abstraction. He collaborated on Toro-wood, a series of reliefs (c. 1939) destroyed in World War II (for reconstruction see 1984 exh. cat., p. 54). During the war he was persecuted by the military authorities for his avant-garde activities....

Article

Toru Asano

[Tetsuharu]

(b Kagoshima, April 28, 1897; d Kumamoto, April 25, 1978).

Japanese painter. He moved to Tokyo at an early age and graduated from Aoyama Gakuin Middle School in 1914. He became familiar with the work of the Futurists, Cubists and Expressionists through the composer Kōsaku Yamada (1886–1965), who had recently returned from studying in Germany. In 1915 Tōgō held a one-man show in Hibiya, Tokyo, of works that revealed the influence of these European styles. On the recommendation of Ikuma Arishima (1882–1974), an oil painter and one of the founder-members of the Nikakai, he showed the Futurist work Woman with Parasol (priv. col., see Uemura, pl. 2) in the third exhibition of the Nikakai (Jap. ‘second division society’; an association of artists influenced by Western styles founded in 1914) in 1916, for which he was awarded the Nika prize. In 1921 he went to France, also visiting Marinetti in Turin. There he participated briefly in the ...