Into Performance: Japanese Women Artists in New York

By Midori Yoshimoto | Go to book overview

Epilogue

I’ve always felt like an outsider, that people did not
understand me. In a way, I created a power as an out-
sider. I mean, being an outsider is an incredible power,
actually. I always think that you should never be in the
center. Center is a blind spot because you can’t see any-
body. You are being seen, but you can’t see anybody.

—Yoko Ono, in conversation with David Ross
in conjunction with the exhibition
Yes Yoko Ono at the Japan Society

The five Japanese women artists examined in this study have long remained outside the mainstream, both in Japan and the United States. Their pursuit of unconventional art forms has separated them from the majority of society and culture, and even sometimes from their own families. Until recently it was extremely difficult to be different and choose an unusual path in conformist Japanese society given the pressures on women to follow traditional lifestyles. These women’s relatively wealthy backgrounds, however, allowed them to receive a high-quality education and exposed them to new opportunities for women. Their education fostered in them the confidence and determination needed to explore experimental art, and eventually to leave Japan. Although these five women artists found kindred spirits

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