Imagining A City: Visions Of Avant-Garde Architects And Artists From 1953 To 1970 Japan

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This dissertation traces the emergence of the artistic imagination that envisioned an archetype of the city, as visualized in four specific projects created by architects and artists in collaboration between 1953 and 1970 in Japan. Specifically, the selected projects, ranging from a photography book to a manifesto publication, an art and architecture installation, and a temporary expo pavilion, involved photography in varying forms and degrees. This dissertation takes the position that each collaborative project was created to investigate -modernity[DOUBLE VERTICAL LINE] specific to postwar Japan, through the efforts of more than a dozen architects and artists, many of whom were born in the 1930s, often referred to as the yakeato-ha generation. The four projects are analyzed in separate chapters, in the following order: (1) the photographic publication Katsura Nihon ni okeru dentō to sōzō (Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture) (1960) by photographer Ishimoto Yasuhiro and architect Tange Kenzō; (2) the manifesto of the architectural and design collective Metabolism, titled Metabolism/1960 Toshi e no teian (Metabolism/1960: Proposal for a New Urbanism) (1960); (3) the multimedia installation Erekutorikku rabirinsu (Electric Labyrinth) created for the occasion of the 1968 Milan Design Triennial by architect Isozaki Arata in collaboration with photographer Tōmatsu Shōmei, graphic designer Sugiura Kōhei, composer Ichiyanagi Toshi, and sound engineer Okumura Yukio; (4) the Symbol Zone of the 1970 Japan Expo that consisted of the Omatsuri hiroba (Festival Plaza), the Taiyō no tō (Tower of the Sun) and the space frame, produced by Isozaki Arata, Okamoto Tarō, and Kamiya Kōji and Tange Kenzō, respectively and jointly. Through the above case studies, the dissertation will examine to various degrees the following three areas against the backdrop of Japan's politics between 1953 and 1970: (1) the visions, images and projects created in collaboration; (2) the forms of collectivism and collaboration that facilitated the creation; and (3) the roles of printed and circulated visual materials, in particular photography and prints, often culled from publicly available sources such as newspapers, journals and books.

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Architecture-Japan; Photography-Japan; Modern movement (Art)-Japan


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Dadi, Muhammad Iftikhar

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de Bary, Brett
Woods, Mary Norman
Sakai, Naoki
Buck-Morss, Susan

Degree Discipline

History of Art and Archaeology

Degree Name

Ph. D., History of Art and Archaeology

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document




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dissertation or thesis

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