MAVO was a radical Japanese art movement of the 1920s. Founded in 1923, as a re-institution of the Japanese Association of Futurist Artists, the anarchistic artist group displayed an outdoor exhibit in Ueno Park in Tokyo in protest of conservatism in the Japanese art world. The group leader was Tomoyoshi Murayama (1901 – 1977). The group deployed an interdisciplinary array of performance art, painting, illustration and architecture, to communicate anti-establishment messages to the mainstream. Fueled by responses to industrial development, the MAVO group created works about crisis, peril and uncertainty. Mavoist artists sought to disrupt or blur the boundaries between art and daily life. They rebelled against the establishment by combining industrial products with painting or printmaking, usually in collage form. Their performance art protests against social injustice deployed theatrical eroticism, that mocked public norms for morality at the time.

Tatsuo Okada and Tomoyoshi Murayama edited MAVO magazine, that published seven issues between July 1924 and August 1925. The publication included essays on socio-cultural art, poetry, and theatrical texts. The pages included original linocut prints and photographic reproductions of visual art that often appropriated the work of their own members. Reuse and recycling from one project to another was one of the group’s trademark strategies.

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