Eiko Otake on an Artist of Rebellion and Rejection: Otake ChikuhaVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Dance artist Eiko Otake returns to Asia Society for a performative dialogue at the intersection of movement and visual art. Known to past Asia Society audiences as a part of Eiko & Koma, Eiko will reflect on the life and work of her grandfather Otake Chikuha, whose painting Fall of the Castle (1902) is currently on view as a part of Meiji Modern: Fifty Years of New Japan at the Asia Society Museum. With projections of his artwork, family photos, and writings, Eiko will share episodic knowledge about her grandfather's life and artistry in the context of her own journey as an artist. Photographer and historian William Johnston will join Eiko onstage in reimagining Chikuha within the rapid social, cultural, and political changes that occurred during the Meiji (1868-1912) and ensuing Taisho (1912-1926) eras for today’s audiences.
‘My grandfather died sixteen years before I was born. Until recently, I had no appreciation for his life or work as an artist. By performing with his paintings and reading his writings, I have been surprised to find sympathy in this artist's trajectory.’
- Eiko Otake
Otake Chikuha (1878-1936) was an ambitious artist whose early works in The Meiji era (1868-1925) were highly praised in the field of Japanese painting led by Okakura Kakuzo (Tenshin), an art scholar and curator of Museum of Fine Arts Boston for Japanese and Chinese arts. However, Chikuha’s anti-mainstream sentiments caused scandals and rejection of his later experimental works by powerful art authorities.
Born and raised in Japan, Eiko Otake is a movement-based, interdisciplinary artist. After working for more than 40 years as part of Eiko & Koma, she now performs as a soloist and directs her own projects. In her Duet Project (2017- ) Eiko has collaborated with a vast array of artists, creating performances and media works. She has also presented site-specific exhibitions and installations in galleries and museums. The latest iteration is currently on at the Asian Arts Initiative and Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. www.eikootake.org
A Professor at Wesleyan University, William Johnston received his PhD from Harvard University in History and East Asian Languages. As a photographer, Johnston has collaborated with Eiko Otake since 2014 on the project, A Body in Fukushima. Their five visits to irradiated Fukushima resulted in numerous exhibitions, a film, and the publication of a book.