Japanese Art Sound Archive

Throughout the history of Japanese art, there has been artists that filled museums, galleries, studios and other public spaces with all sorts of sounds. In most cases, however, once the sound faded, it couldn’t be heard again. Within Japanese art history, which has been mainly reliant on visual archives, information concerning sound has been often left in a fragmentary state. Japanese Art Sound Archives is a project that aims to collect those often inaccessible sound activities of the past and make them more accessible for consultation.

The project consists of the gathering and classification of information related to sounds created by artists, including interviews with artists and people who witnessed them producing the sounds, bibliographic surveys, recorded materials preserved by the artists themselves, as well as discourses surrounding those works. The project also offers opportunities to reproduce or re-enact sound pieces from the past, either by the artist themselves or our supporters, and present them in multiple forms, ranging from vinyl records to events and exhibitions. The project is devoted to building the foundations needed to examine the meanings of sound in Japanese art, as well as facilitating the cultivation of its potentials.

We face a lot of questions when we look back and examine the role of sounds in the history of Japanese art – What roles did they hold in different art-historical movements? How were they associated with and differentiated from other contemporary art forms like music? What contexts did they have in relation to visual and aural cultures of the day? One of the most important missions of this project is to provide people with an archive of actual sounds from which they can explore those questions.

October, 2017 Tomotaro Kaneko / Minoru Hatanaka

Organizer Profile

Tomotaro Kaneko https://tomotarokaneko.com/
Tomotaro Kaneko, an associate professor at Aichi University of the Arts, was born in 1976. His field is Aesthetics and aural culture. His recent publications include “Sound Technology in Japanese Art after the movement of “Environmental Art”: Bikyoto Generation in the Early 1970s” (in Hyosho: Journal of the Association for Studies of Culture and Representation, no. 12, 2018), “Namaroku culture in 1970s Japan: The techniques and joy of sound recording” (in Kallista: the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Theory, no. 23, 2017), and a Japanese translation of Jonathan Sterne’s book, The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (jointly translated by Katsushi Nakagawa, Tomotaro Kaneko, Fumikazu Taniguchi, published by Inscript, 2015). He has also worked on a series of reviews of foreign books on the topics of sound studies and sound art in the music magazine, Artes (2011–2015).

Minoru Hatanaka
Minoru Hatanaka was born in 1968 and graduated from the Department of Art Science at Tama Art University. He is the Chief Curator of NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], joined ICC since 1996, prior to the facility’s opening. He curated exhibitions at ICC, including group shows such as “Sound Art – Sound as Media” (2000) , “Sounding Space” (2003), “silent dialogue” (2007), “[Internet Art Future] – Reality in Post Internet Era” (2012), “ART+COM / Rhizomatiks Research Poetics / Structures of Light and Motion” (2017), “SAKAMOTO Ryuichi with TAKATANI Shiro | Installation Music 2 – IS YOUR TIME” (2017), and solo shows featuring the work of Dumb Type (2002), MAYWA DENKI (2004), Laurie ANDERSON (2005), HACHIYA Kazuhiko (2006), Rhizomatiks (2013), ISOZAKI Arata (2013), OTOMO Yoshihide (2014), John WOOD and Paul HARRISON (2015) , etc. He has also written reviews on art and music.

HistoryPast Programs→

Oct. 30th Project launch announcement

Jan. 7th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Kosai Hori, MEMORY-PRACTICE (Reading-Affair), 1977
Jan. 14th – 20th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Ken-ichiro Ina, record, 1973
Feb. 11th – 17th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Fumio Takamizawa, Number of Sheep Who Jumped over the Fence, 1974
Mar. 11th – 17th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Hitoshi Nomura, Operating Records with Tune, Intensity and Time in Mind, 1973
Mar. 25th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Tetsuya Watanabe, Climax No.1, 1973
Apr. 1st Great White Light, Great White Light, LP release
Apr. 8th – 14th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Morihiro Wada, Discourse on the Method in Cognition No.1, Self Musical, 1973
Jun. 25th – 29th Japanese Art Sound Archive: January 7th – April 14th, 2018 Material Exhibition
Nov. 28th Website launch

Feb. 20th – Mar. 9th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Norio Imai, TWO HEARTBEATS OF MINE, 1976
Jul. 21th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Yoichi Niisato, THE CAESAREAN OPERATION, 1973
Sep. 1st Kosai Hori, Reading-Affair, CD release
Nov. 16th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Masako + Naoyoshi, SEA FOR FLOOR, 1972 A Reenactment and Development by Naoyoshi Hikosaka

Aug. 3rd Production-Gas, Gas’ Disk, Cassette Edition release
Aug. 3rd Bandcamp account launch
Nov. 14th – Dec. 25th Japanese Art Sound Archive collaboration: Mitsunori Kurashige, Seven Performances in 1974 (A Recreation), 2020

Feb. 11th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Masako Shibata, AFFECT-GREEN Performance, 1976
Apr. 23rd – May 22nd Japanese Art Sound Archive Collaboration: Tatsuo Kawaguchi, 345600 Seconds, 2021

Jun. 23rd – 27th Japanese Art Sound Archive: Kayoko Ueda and Erize Watanabe, Tautology, 1973


japaneseartsoundarchive -at- gmail.com