Introduction

In Kitano Takeshi’s filmAchilles and the Tortoise, a Japanese painter successively attempts to reproduce a number of twentieth-century art styles, from Cubism via Abstract Expressionism to body art.¹ Although he starts off with an undeniable gift for drawing, his talent gets progressively lost as he...

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Published in: Imitation and Creativity in Japanese Arts p. 1
Main Author: MICHAEL LUCKEN
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Published: Columbia University Press 03-29-2016
Subjects:
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Summary: In Kitano Takeshi’s filmAchilles and the Tortoise, a Japanese painter successively attempts to reproduce a number of twentieth-century art styles, from Cubism via Abstract Expressionism to body art.¹ Although he starts off with an undeniable gift for drawing, his talent gets progressively lost as he immerses himself in imitating Western art movements that he only superficially understands; his life then gets mired in a yo-yo of burlesque failures and family crises. Japan is often described as a nation of imitators and has—albeit with a measure of irony—assimilated this externally imposed image. And yet Japan’s is perhaps the
DOI: 10.7312/luck17292.3