An exhibition on Japanese art at the PAC in Milan puts the body at the center of attention. And its relationship with society, the environment and technology. Until February 12th

There are the waves made of white paper feathers (similar to origami) by the vocalist and performer Ami Yamasaki, there is the video work Love/Sex/Death/Money/Life by the Dump Type collective in Kyoto, and there is the poetic installation Empty Body, a skein of black thread and three white dresses suspended in the air, by Chiharu Shiota.

These are three of the 17 works of Japanese Art exhibited at the PAC (Pavilion of contemporary art, via Palestro 14) on the occasion of the exhibition Japan. Body Perform Live -Resistance and resilience in contemporary Japanese art (until February 12) that puts the body at the center of attention. And its relationship with society, the environment and technology.

From the Gutai movement to the youth

The exhibition at the PAC brings together 17 artists of different ages: 9 women, a collective and 7 men born between the 1920s and 1980s.

"And that comes from afar given that phone calls between Milan and Tokyo began in 2018 but, unfortunately, everything was blocked by the pandemic" explains Shihoko Lida, co-curator of the exhibition with DiegoSileo.

"However, the idea remained the same: to create a dialogue between different artists, starting with the exponents of the Gutai movement or informal artists such as Atsuko Tanaka, one of the leading exponents of Japanese post-war art, Muraoka Saburo or Yoko Ono, here with the video of her 1964 performance Cut Piece, with artists such as the very young Mari Katayama who brought a selection of her extraordinary photographs to Milan in which she shows her body without filters, with or without prosthetic legs.

Paper, embroidery and video

The materials change, from paper to fabric up to video and expressive techniques, but it is evident that the link between the research of older artists and that of contemporaries proves to be very strong: for all the priority is the attention to themes of nature, identity, life, the body and its expressions/manipulation .

Hence the subtitle of the exhibition which emphasizes the resistance of concepts such as: "Body, Perform, Live".

Also on display at the PAC are some site-specific works such as the variant created for the occasion of the sculpture Moré-Moré (Leaky), a delicate and complex structure by Yuko Mohri reminiscent of Tinguely's Machine Spectacle.

And, next to it, the essential installation Margins of the area of ​​Kishio Suga, exponent of the Mono movement, equivalent of Italian Arte Povera.

Finally, the Igort Notebooks

A poetic and evocative exhibition, therefore, which - in its simplicity - allows you to discover new names and review others already known.

And which, in the final Project Room (this is the name of the PAC room which, on the first floor, houses small monographic exhibitions or thematic insights related to the main exhibition) offers a tribute to a great illustrator.

This is the exhibition The Moss and the Flesh, Anatomy of the Senses in Igort's Japan, a collection of plates and publications by Igor Tuveri, in art Igort, one of the masters of the graphic novel among the greatest connoisseurs of Japan.

On display are his 'Japanese notebooks, from A journey through the empire of signs to The hidden sounds of things, works born from readings, meetings and years spent in Tokyo by the author, which close the path of this trip to the East.

Japan. Body, Perform, Livw/Resistance and resilience in contemporary Japanese art: some useful information

  • PAC, Contemporary Art Pavilion, via Palestro 14 (, tel. 00288446359).
  • The Japan. Body, Perform, Livw/Resistance and resilience in Japanese contemporary art is open to the public until February 12 and open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 19.30; Thursdays until 10.30pm.
  • Admission ticket €8; free guided tours every Sunday at 6 pm.