Dr Gen Adachi: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Naked: Modern Asian Pornography - Chaired by Professor Toshio Watanabe

Open Lecture


Georges Bigot, La femme nue de M. Kuroda, 1895

Art and pornography have been closely related in certain periods, and both have contributed to the evolution of visual culture in Modern Asia from the late-19th to mid-20th century. While contemporary and pre-modern pornography have been attracting attention, the modern history has been almost forgotten. In fact, it might have been considered worthless by many today. However, is it really so? Images of the naked body which lost the eroticism and radicalism of their time change into an existence showing human nature and political conditions. Moreover, in history there is important evidence of how desire and oppression have behaved on the battlefields of World War II.

Dr Gen Adachi is an art historian and critic specializing in the history of art and cartoons of Modern Japan. Adachi completed his Ph.D. at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008. From 2010 to 2013, he was a Post-doctoral fellow of Japan Society for Promotion of Science. Currently he is a visiting fellow at the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN), University of the Arts London, supported by a grant from the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists. His book Zen’ei no Idenshi (Memes of the Japanese Avant-garde: From Anarchism to Postwar Art), was published by Brücke in 2012.

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