Mitsutoshi Hanaga: 1960s—70s Japanese avant-garde and performance art

Originally interested in painting, Mitsutoshi Hanaga (1933—99) turned to photography after tuberculosis and an accident left him unfit to paint. He was particularly drawn to an underground scene, which he not only documented but actively engaged in as well. Those who knew him back then, recall Hanaga as a friend, rather than a photographer, however, a few exceptions aside, those pictures have never been published.

Over 30 thousand photographs from recently discovered negatives capture yet noninstitutionalized, chaotic state of art in the midst of deep socio-political frustration and the heat of labor movements on one hand, and infinite prospects of Japanese post-war economic miracle on the other. Everything, not only art, is charged with raw creative energy.

Aoyama Hideki

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