REPORTAGE PAINTING

Reportage painting was a Japanese post-war art movement that emerged in the early 1950s in opposition to the presence of the American military in Japan, and sought to reveal the inherent contradictions of post-war Japanese society which they saw as a puppet state to America.

The paintings produced by artists associated with the movement were realist in style, ensuring their political messages could be easily understood. Many focused on the unjust treatment of the Japanese people, both by the government and the US forces. A good example of this is Ikeda Tatsuo’s painting 10,000 Count, 1954 which depicted a Japanese fishing boat that had been radiated by fallout from a thermonuclear bomb test conducted by the Americans at Bikini Atoll. Other paintings documented the enforced land grabs by the government to build bases for the US military.

Artists associated with reportage painting are Nakamura Hiroshi, Ikeda Tatsuo, Yamashita Kikuji and Ishii Shigeo.

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