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Tokyo Research

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#1 DocB



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Posted 23 March 2005 - 04:45 PM

I'm a PhD student in the UK moving to Tokyo in September to carry out research into the emergence of artists' collectives in Tokyo as a lens to examine aspects of Japanese identity, concepts of the creative process and the shaping of a city through artistic practice.

I wanted to ask the forum if there is an area prevalent in Tokyo for young art activity (such as Soho in NYC or Hoxton in London)?

Also, any artists interested in being involved in the research please get in touch.
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#2 sugarboots



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Posted 24 March 2005 - 05:48 AM

hi that sounds interesting! there:s the big Design Festa here twice every year - their hub is located in Harajuku.....i:m sure there is TONS more.
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#3 lacko



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Posted 19 August 2005 - 10:39 PM

Hey DocB,

Sounds like your puting together a great paper on Japanese Youth Culture. I'd love to read it when it's finished. I'm heading to Japan for a few weeks at the end of Aug (WE LOVE JAPAN 2005 TOUR). Let me know if you find any artists you think I should see when I'm in Japan. I'm an illustrator and designer in Miami. If i can help gather info for your paper while I'm there let me know. You can contact me direct from my web site.


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#4 djrajio



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Posted 23 August 2005 - 03:49 AM

I think sugarboots hit it on the head. After the bubble economy fall-out in the 80s, the early 90s was the impetus for the cultural boom or "Gross National Cool" cultivation that Japan is best known for. Basically the lost decade of the 90s saw the rise of all of the famous Japanese pop culture we take for granted and a lot of this was developed in Harajuku by disenfranchised youth looking for something to believe in as an alterative to the salary-man lifestyle that had so eluded/screwed over their fathers, friends, themselves. Famous artists like Hiroshi Fujiwara, Nigo of A Bathing Ape, etc developed their brands, art etc in harajuku, which in the late eighties-early nineties was seen as a backwards neighborhood rather than a artistic, fashion, cultural mecca. I think photo documentaries/magazines of the mid-90s like Fruits really put into perspective the dichotomy and artistic ferocity that Japanese youth developed in reaction to the effects of the Japanese economic fallout. Its kinda funny cuz Casio is now advertising a new campaign called "Back to the 90s" which celebrates the great cultural revolution that Japan had (and also the time when Casio G-Shocks were cool)...the graphic design, fashion, and art of the era was very futuristic/dream-like/post-modern optimistic as sort of an anesthesia for the general economic situation surrounding the country at the time.
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Also probably a perverse lack of self-confidence that causes me to overcompensate by exceling in other aspects of my life and boasting about sexual/monetary exploits (or lack thereof) on a fashion board viewed by thousands of anonymous users to make me feel better.