Rocks and Waterfall, Kenzo Okada

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Jan. 17, 2005

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University will host the exhibit, "Resounding Spirit: Japanese Contemporary Art of the 1960s," Jan. 26 through March 8.

The exhibition focuses on contemporary and avant-garde Japanese art during a period of dramatic development and experimentation in post-war Japan.

According to Dan Mills, director of the Samek Art Gallery, the exhibition includes many significant works, including a number by the renowned Gutai Group artists, known for experimentation with art and non-art materials as well as introducing performative elements into painting and breaking away from traditional and representational art.

Programming highlights include two free Gallery talks by Reiko Tomii and Ming Tiampo, curatorial consultants of the exhibition, which is organized by the Gibson Gallery Collection of the State University of New York at Potsdam.

The first Gallery talk, "Around 1963: Contemporary Japanese Art," by Reiko Tomii begins at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, in the Gallery Theatre, on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center. "In her talk, Reiko Tomii will explore the extraordinary period of experimentation in Japanese art after the second world war," said Mills.

In the exhibition catalog, Reiko Tomii states, "The Gibson Gallery collection of Japanese art is a time capsule of Japanese painting from the late 1950s to the early 1970s." Tomii is an independent art historian and curator who investigates post-1945 Japanese art in global and local contexts. Based in New York, she has curated the Japanese sections of Global Conceptualism (Queens Museum of Art, 1999) and Century City (Tate Modern, 2001).

She is a contributing editor of Art Asia Pacific and a regular columnist for the Tokyo-based art newspaper The Shin Bijutsu Shinbun. Her most recent essay, "Historicizing `Contemporary Art': Some Discursive Practices in Gendai Bijutsu in Japan," appears in the journal Positions. 

Ming Tiampo will give the second Gallery talk, "Lights, Action, Camera! Performance and the Gutai Group," Friday, Feb. 11, at 5 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre. According to Tiampo, the experimental Gutai artists were innovative by "… incorporating time and theatricality into painting, expanding the notion of painting beyond just paint and canvas, and employing print media as its stage both at home and abroad."

A founding member of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis and assistant professor of art history at Carleton University in Ottawa, she recently collaborated with two other scholars on Moments de Déstruction, Moments de Beauté (Paris: Blusson, 2002), has published numerous articles on post-war Japanese and French art, and has given public lectures in Europe, Asia, and North America.

"This exhibition and these talks by noted art historians continues the long-standing tradition of programming excellence and thinking globally at Bucknell's Samek Art Gallery," said Mills.

"Several exhibitions that premiered in Lewisburg have traveled to other venues, and have been recognized in major city papers as well as national and international art/education journals.

"This is a fine opportunity for the local community to see an exhibition that will travel to institutions in the United States and Canada after the Bucknell exhibition," he said.

Admission to the Samek Art Gallery, located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center, is free. Gallery hours are weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 570-577-3792 or check

This exhibition year is sponsored by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Association for the Arts of Bucknell University; the departments of art and art history, and East Asian studies; and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.


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