SFMOMA has been actively acquiring the work of internationally recognized artists including Masahisa Fukase, Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, and Shomei Tomatsu since the 1970s, assembling one of the world’s preeminent collections of Japanese photography. This exhibition presents the avant-garde tradition that emerged in Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s. The tumultuous period following World War II proved to be 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, the exhibition traces how Japanese photographers responded to their country’s shifting social and political atmosphere. This presentation at the Crocker Art Museum is part of an unprecedented tour of works from SFMOMA’s photography collection to communities across California while our building is closed for expansion.
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 the James Irvine Foundation, Bank of America, and The Japan Foundation.