Neo-Dada Organizers

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Neo-Dada Organizers was a Japanese Neo-Dadaist art group formed by Masunobu Yoshimura[1] that was active from 1960 until 1963.[2] Composed of around ten young painters and performers who met periodically at Yoshimura's atelier in Shinjuku, they "announced their radical stances through introducing destructive akushon (action) that deviates from any conventional form of art", and aimed to "shock the audience with impulsive, disturbing performances."[1] They used the human body as their medium of art. Their violent performances were both based in artistic intentions and responded to the political climate the time.


Neo-Dada Organizers was reacting to a Japan that was rapidly modernizing after the destruction of World War II. Beyond opposing the art of the time, they reacted "to the increasing number and tenacity of public policies aimed at regulating the body",[1] and in particular to the efforts by the Liberal Democratic Party government, led by Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, to renew the United States Japan Security Treaty, which led to massive protests across the country.


Neo-Dada sympathizers (non-members but participated)[edit]

Activity (1960)[1][edit]

April 4–10

The first Neo-Dada Organizer exhibition was held at the Ginza Gallery in Tokyo.

June 18

The group put on performances in and around Yoshimura's atelier to note the signing of the Anpo Treaty.

July 1–10

The second "Neo-Dada" Exhibition took place at Yoshimura's atelier in Shinjuku.

Sept 1-7

The third Neo-Dada exhibition was put on at the Hibiya Gallery near Hibiya Park.

Sept 30

The "Bizarre Assembly", an outdoor destructive performance was held at Yoshimura's studio.


The Neo-Dada Organizers were influenced by American Neo-Dadaists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "BODY/ VIOLENCE/ CITY The Neo-Dada Art Actions in 1960 Tokyo" (PDF). Urban Humanities Institute, UCLA. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Chilvers, Ian; Glaves-Smith, John (2009). A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199239665. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

Other sources[edit]

  • Berghaus, Gu. Avant-garde Performance: Live Events and Electronic Technologies. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print.
  • Chong, Doryun, Michio Hayashi, and N.Y. York. Tokyo, 1955-1970: A New Avant-garde. New York: Museum of Modern Art :, 2012. Print.
  • Havens, Thomas R. H. Radicals and Realists in the Japanese Nonverbal Arts: The Avant-garde Rejection of Modernism. Honolulu: U of Hawaii, 2006. Print.
  • "Neo-Dada Movement, Artists and Major Works." The Art Story. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.