This selection, which provides an overview of the latest trends in Japanese art, presents the work of those artists who developed their concepts in reaction to the economic recession and social changes of the 2000s. The art of Japan underwent several transformations in the past three decades. The burst of the “bubble economy” that made Japan one of the leading economic powers in the nineties suggested a downfall to many an intellectual. Such stereotypes as the workaholism of the Japanese, their tenacity, an extremely demanding education system and social positions held for a lifetime, now seem to become unsubstantiated, while a new generation of artists have to reckon with the growing artistic clout of China, and the current waning of traditional Japanese aesthetic values.
The artists now on view represent a very individual mentality, which curator Midori Matsui has chosen to call the “micropop imagination.” Their fine and reserved works rearrange the different fragments of information and knowledge as they suggest new meanings and uses for outdated things that have become commonplaces.