Jikken Kobo (Experimental Workshop)

Jikken Kobo, active from 1951 to 1958, was a group of young artists in their twenties. The entirety of Jikken Kobo was considered a single entity, and artists collaborated with each other regardless of artistic field to create works in plastic arts, music, photography, literature, light, and other mediums of expression. The members of the group differed from time to time and activities were conducted similarly to project teams. Jikken Kobo was active in this way in a time when there were still very few art groups dedicated to mixed media.

In 1948, Kitadai Shozo, Yamaguchi Katsuhiro, and Fukushima Hideko first met at the Japan Avant Garde Artists Club, a fathering for artists involved in modern art. Artists from the fields of visual arts and music met at Fukushima's house and developed relationships from there, leading to the beginning of Jikken Kobo. Takiguchi Shuzo, who gave the group its name, became the spiritual pillar of their activities. Takiguchi contributed many writings on Jikken Kobo's work and supported them greatly.

Jikken Kobo's activities began officially in 1951 with a ballet performance of "Joie de Vivre" commissioned by Yomiuri Shimbun. This performance incorporated lighting as a major element of the work, which was  experimental for the time. Another major characteristic of the group, influenced in part by Akiyama Kuniharu, who provided commentary on conteporary music, was their active introduction of contemporary music, such as premiering works by foreign composers at the Jikken Kobo 2nd Exhibition "Contemporary Music Concert" in 1952.

In addition, by actively incorporating new materials and media such as film, television, and autoslide, Jikken Kobo worked to create a comprehensive audiovisual art form. Their relationship with Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, the developer of the autoslide projector, led to the inclusion of 4 works using the autoslide in the Jikken Kobo 5th Exhibition in 1953. This move to incorporate science and technology was innovative, and likely related to the fact that Kitadai Shozo, who was a leading figure in the group, had studied engineering.

Jikken Kobo has completed many requests and projects regardless of the field. Through this kind of outside work, the individual artists personal activity continued to develop greatly.

Members: TAKIGUCHI Shuzo, OTSUJI Kiyoji, KITADAI Shozo, KOMAI Tetsuro, FUKUSHIMA Hideko, YAMAGUCHI Katsuhiro, SATO Keijiro, SUZUKI Hiroyoshi, SONODA Takahiro, TAKEMITSU Toru, FUKUSHIMA Kazuo, YUASA Joji, AKIYAMA Kuniharu, IMAI Naotsugu, YAMAZAKI Hideo

Commemorative photo of Jikken Kobo.
(11th Homage Takiguchi Shuzo  Jikken Kobo and Takiguchi Shuzo (July 8-31 1991))

All members except for Yamazaki Hideo are gathered. Possibly taken in 1954 at a gathering to welcome Sonoda Takahiro home from Europe. From the left of the bottom row: Takiguchi Shuzo, Mr. and Mrs. Sonoda Takahiro, Fukushima Hideko, Takemitsu Toru, Yuasa Joji, Suzuki Hiroyoshi, Sato Keijiro. From the left of the upper row: Kitadai Shozo, Akiyama Kuniharu, Yamaguchi Katsuhiro, Komai Tetsuro, Fukushima Kazuo, Imai Naotsugu. In the bottom photo, Otsuji Kiyoji, the photographer of the top photo, has traded places with Kitadai in the leftmost position.
1951 - mock set for the ballet "Joie du Vivre"
(Art: Kitadai Shozo, Yamaguchi Katsuhiro, Fukushima Hideko)
(11th Takiguchi Shuzo Homage  Jikken Kobo and Takiguchi Shuzo (July 8-31 1991))
"Jikken Kobo 3rd Exhibition" (February - October  Takemiya Gallery) Flyer (Design: Kitadai Shozo) 1952
(Pioneers of Media Art  Yamguchi Katsuhiro Exhibition   From Jikken Kobo to Theatrine)


Watercolor on paper
Image size: 9.7×9.0cm
Sheet size: 12.3×9.0cm
Signed on the back of the frame

Tetsuro KOMAI
"A scenery"

*RaisonneNo.225(Bijutsu Shuppan-sha)


Image Size: 40.0x50.0cm
Sheet size: 49.0x63.0cm
Ed. 50
Signed with pencil


Essays listed on Japanese page (Japanese only)

100th Anniversary KOMAI Tetsuro Exhibition Part 2 KOMAI Tetsuro and TAKIGUCHI Shuzo Feb. 8 [Tue.] ― Feb. 26 [Sat.] 2022

Gallery Collection of Summer - Q Ei, TAKIGUCHI Shuzo, ONOSATO Toshinobu June 29 [Tues.] ― July 10 [Sat.]

100th Anniversary KOMAI Tetsuro Exhibition Part 1 -Artist in young days and Patron- June. 16[Tue.]― July. 11[Sat.]

Weekly Special Collection: Shuzo TAKIGUCHI and Marcel DUCHAMP Oct 24 Tues. - Oct 28 Sat.

Weekly Special Collection: Tetsuro KOMAI Exhibition Sep 12 Tues. - Sep 22 Sat.

Shuzo TAKIGUCHI Exhibition - IV October 17 Sat. - October 31 Sat.

Shuzo TAKIGUCHI Exhibition - III -Shuzo TAKIGUCHI & Marcel DUCHAMP- November 5 Wed. - November 22 Sat
25th Q Ei Exhibition - Q Ei and Sadajiro KUBO June 11 Wed. - June 28 Sat.
Shuzo TAKIGUCHI Exhibition - II March 12 Wed. - March 29 Sat.
Shuzo TAKIGUCHI Exhibition - I January 8 Wed. - January 25 Sat.

24th Q Ei Exhibition -Q Ei and Shuzo TAKIGUCHI- October 26 Wed. - November 2 Sat.

Tetsuro KOMAI - Collection of Mr.S PART II October 26 Tue. - November 6 Sat.

Tetsuro KOMAI - Collection of Mr.S PART I Novemver 20 Fri. - November 28 Sat.

Komai Tetsuro Exhibition - 80th Anniversary April 21 - May 20

Komai Tetsuro and the World of Illustraion / Komai Tetsuro = Lautreamont, Ikeda Masuo = Ogawa Kunio, Yanagisawa Kiko = Okada Takahiko, Yoshihara Hideo = Matsunaga Goichi, Kihara Yasuyuki = Nakamura Shinichiro, Kimura Shigeru = Tsuji Kunio, Nakabayashi Tadayoshi (poetry collection) January 11 - January 30  

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