[Yasmuasa Morimura’s] Nippon Cha Cha Cha was one of ‘10 evenings’ programmed at Centre Pompidou-Metz in conjunction with the encyclopaedic exhibition Japanorama: A New Vision on Art Since 1970. The thankless task of a national survey—of something, anything—is perhaps the most diabolical undertaking for any exhibition curator or book editor; it is fundamentally impossible to mirror critically the many and various nuances of cultural forms and their complex connections to each other, their makers and audiences. This is especially the case when the audience has only been exposed to bits here and there, whether historical or contemporary.
The variety of forms and ideas available to the curator or editor in such undertakings makes decisions partial, yet a view has formed over more than 150 years, in this case between Japan and France. That view grasps at the relationship between two very particular cultures who are prolific in highly stylised activities and between them could be said to have made possible what is known as western modernism.
Japanorama showcased works by 104 artists and collectives that were presented thematically rather than chronologically; correspondingly, the placement of works engendered a very open installation as works and ideas flowed into each other. SANAA Tokyo designed the structure of this exhibition and took the Japanese archipelago as a model. Yasumasa Morimura and the Kyoto-based artist collective Dumb Type were included within the main body of Japanorama. Dumb Type had an entire separate floor of installations at Metz (continuing beyond the exhibition’s close to 14 May), with some individual members and related artists appearing in the performance ‘evenings’.