(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 (...