Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s at Blum & Poe
By: Abe Ahn
Curated by Mika Yoshitake
Part I: February 14–March 23
Part II: April 6–May 19
Parergon cast light on a period of Japanese art history that bridges the austere formalism of mid-century Mono-ha artists with today’s unselfconsciously commercial postmodernists. Curated by Mika Yoshitake, the two-part exhibition featured works of diverse genres, styles, and disciplines, framing installation, performance, and mixed media works in context of a period defined broadly by formal experimentation and political transgression from the margins of Japanese culture. While institutional retrospectives of underground scenes always run the risk of ossifying what was once a chaotic and vibrant period, the exhibition, alongside satellite shows and live performances that took place throughout the city, helped capture some of the energy of a bygone era.