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On Sunday, the 26th October of 2014, renowned Japanese avant-garde artist and writer Akasegawa Genpei passed away in Tokyo, leaving behind an inspiring legacy. His literary works include Rōjin-ryoku and Hyperart: Thomasson, the latter of which we published in English in 2010. Read words from our publisher & our translator here.

Here are some photos in memory of Akasegawa.

March 1983: Portraits from an Investigation at Roppongi

六本木探査004-1 六本木探査005-1 谷町を歩く赤瀬川原平

August 1983: An Investigation at the Town of Tanimachi

谷町の煙突と079 谷町の煙突を描く赤瀬川原平080
赤瀬川&観測センター003

Tanimachi had been slated for demolishment in 1983. People with Akasegawa’s art school gathered at the site for a final documentation project. Akasegawa, who had not used his brushes and other oil painting tools since the 1960s, took them out on this field trip to Tanimachi. He had put aside oil painting due to the avant-garde movement of the 60’s, but proposed that everyone use this more traditional art form for this “sketching” project. Though afflicted by heat and mosquitos, this documentation lasted a full day. The painting that Akasegawa produced at Tanimachi was later exhibited at “Gallery 612” later that fall, for a special exhibit on Thomassons. It was also included in a recent Chiba exhibit.

Akasegawa Genpei’s Grave

赤瀬川さんのお墓縮小

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— Junot Díaz