The exhibition takes its names from the Gallery Parergon in Tokyo, which was home to many New Wave visual artists in the early 1980s. Japan in this time period was still experiencing immense post-war economic growth and corresponding social change, which abruptly ended in the mid-1990s with the onset of a major recession. Artists of this era were experimenting with new media, offering social critique and satire, and working in newly formed collectives. Their practices would have a profound influence on later contemporary Japanese art superstars like Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.
A multi-part ongoing exhibition is reexposing Americans to an influential period of modern Japanese art. Nonaka-Hill and Blum & Poe, both in Los Angeles, are mid-way through a comprehensive three-part exhibition series bringing pivotal Japanese art to America. Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s showcases the work of more than 25 visual artists, including photography, painting, sculpture, and performance.
The exhibitions are curated by Mika Yoshitake, an expert in Japanese art and the curator of the recent traveling blockbuster exhibition, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (2017-19).
One of the three exhibitions comprising Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s is open at Nonaka-Hill through April 6, with the third and final exhibition opening at Blum & Poe also on April 6. Accompanying public programming includes an artist roundtable with Kenjiro Okazaki, Yukinori Yanagi, Kenji Yanobe, and curator Mika Yoshitake on April 7, and live performances.