SFMOMA has been actively acquiring the work of internationally recognized artists including Masahisa Fukase, Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, and Shōmei Tōmatsu since the 1970s, assembling one of the world's preeminent collections of Japanese photography. The exhibition begins with the avant-garde tradition that emerged in Tokyo in the 1960s and 70s and explores its influence on the diverse photographic practice that continues today. The tumultuous period following World War II proved fertile ground for a generation of Japanese photographers who responded to societal upheaval by creating a new visual language dubbed "Are, Bure, Boke" — rough, blurred, and out of focus. Named for the magazine Provoke, which sought to break the rules of traditional photography, this exhibition traces how Japanese photographers responded to their country's shifting social and political atmosphere.
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The Provoke Era: Japanese Photography from the Collection of SFMOMA is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, Bank of America, and by The Japan Foundation.