Conference with Dr. Reiko Tomii

Conference Wilderness as Method, Contemporaneity as Method held in English at University of Fribourg, Miséricorde, cinema room (MIS02 2029).

Followed by a tour of A Retrospective of Closed Exhibitions (Hi Red Center) and an aperitif at Fri Art.


Based on her latest publication, Radicalism in the Wilderness: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan, Dr. Tomii will outline two basic concepts “wilderness” and “contemporaneity” as key methodological frameworks to construct local and global art histories. First and foremost an artist’s strategy, “wilderness” was inventively and imaginatively exploited by three protagonists of her study, Matsuzawa Yutaka, a pioneer conceptualist in central Japan; The Play, a Happeners’ collective in Osaka; and GUN, a politically aware group in Niigata. “Contemporaneity,” a geo-historical concept derived from the Japanese notion of kokusaiteki dojisei (international contemporaneity), offers an art-historian’s strategy for world art history of postwar practices, for which she has proposed such theoretical and methodological terms as “connection,” “resonance,” and “similar yet dissimilar” among others. She will demonstrate their application by focusing on the stone-based works of Mono-ha and conceptualism around 1970.

Dr. Reiko Tomii is an independent art historian, who investigates post-1945 Japanese art in global and lo- cal contexts. Her research topic encompasses “international contemporaneity,” collectivism, and conceptualism in 1960s art, as demonstrated by her contribution to Global Conceptualism (Queens Museum of Art, 1999), Century City (Tate Modern, 2001), and Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art (Getty Research Institute, 2007). In 2003, She co-founded PoNJA-GenKon (, a listserv group of specialists interested in contemporary Japanese art, and organized a number of symposiums and panels in collaboration with Yale University, Getty Research Institute, UCLA, Guggenheim Museum, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Asia Society Museum, University of Southern California, and Japan Society.

Conférence de Dr. Reiko Tomii