In 1959, soon after the old Sogetsu Kaikan was completed, the Sogetsu Art Center was founded and Hiroshi became the director. The aim of the center was to offer a place for artists from various genres or fields to gather to create, to show, and to criticize each other without any restrictions. The system in which the artist produces his/her own works was thought to be most innovative, and it was very useful for the artists to protect themselves and their creativity from commercialism. The activities of the center were:
1. Sogetsu Music In : Experimental Jazz concerts in 1960s.
2. Sogetsu Contemporary Series: Recitals of new pieces of contemporary music.
3. Sogetsu Cinematheque: Shows of animation or experimental image films. The activities were especially active in the late 60s.
These were the main activities, but a number of collaborations were realized by the exchange of ideas.
Also, many American forefront arts were introduced at the center. The events by John Cage or David Tudor gave a strong impression; one was called ÒJohn Cage Shock.Ó The originality of the stage design of the Off-Broadway Musical A coach with 6 people was the talk of the Japanese art world.
Not only for the creations on the stage but for the productions and editing of the posters or the SAC journal, the center promoted many young talented people. Kiyoshi Awazu, Makoto Wada, Kohei Sugiura, and Tadanori Yokoo were the graphic designers and Yoshiaki Tono, Yusuke Nakahara,
Koichi Iijima, and Makoto Ooka were the writers who worked most frequently.
In 1958, the special Event for the documentaries by Humio Kamei by Cinema 58 was held.

The main activities of the Sogetsu Art Center
The foundation of the Sogetsu Art Center
In 1959: Performances such as Experiment of LSD by Toshiki Shimazaki and others and Tori Group, a monologue poetry drama, by Shuji Terayama and Masaki Domoto and others were held. In April, The Sogetsu Art Center started its activities.
Keitaro Miho, Toru Takemitsu, Masao Yagi, Jinichi Uekusa met to create so-called Modern Jazz Association.
Piano recitals by Takahiro Sonoda, film showing of Hiroshi TeshigaharaÕs Jose Torres, a seminar and the showing of slides by Michel Tapie, and ÒSogetsu Cultural Club, collection of the laughterÓ planned by Kobo Abe were held.

The event by John Cage and D.Tudor.

The event by John Cage and D.Tudor.
From the left, John Cage, David Tudor, Yoko Ono, Toshiro Mayuzumi in 1962.

The enquiry session for Raushenberg.

The enquiry session for Raushenberg.
Robert Raushenberg, making his work in concentration on the stage, without answering any question, in 1964.

The poster of the Underground Film Festival

The poster of the Underground Film Festival, which was one of the projects of Sogetsu Cinematheque, designed by Iwao Hosoya.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Merce Cunningham Dance Company, November 1964

Merce Cunningham Dance Company, November 1964

Back to Top