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Shozo Shimamoto, "Armor"", 1960

After World War II, the notions of democracy and freedom of expression, introduced under American rule, exerted a strong influence on art in Japan. As the country shifted from pre-war militarism to post-war democracy, and values of all kinds changed, artists of the 1950s and '60s worked to explore and create new values. This period overlapped with an era of high economic growth, and having reached this level through a peaceful post-war recovery, Japan evolved into a stable nation. Determined to become an economic power, the entire country united, making a vigorous push to catch up with and overtake the world. It was an era in which Japan set out to break with past conventions and establish its place in international society, and one in which people groped in the dark for new values. Similarly, in contemporary art, it was also an era in which the avant-garde destroyed conventional notions and forged a new spirit. Post-war Japan was marked by an incessant drive to create new values.

Object information

Black granite
Plaster and paint on canvas
191 x 109 cm
Private Collection; Belgium, since 2012; Fondazione Morra, Napels, Italy.
1960: 9th Gutai Art Exhibition

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