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Describing everything from bread and cappuccinos to mass-market furnishings, a language of the "artisanal" saturates our culture today. That language, Peter. Editorial Reviews. Review. "By arguing that what matters culturally, finally, is the representation of craft, the idea of craft, rather than the objects, Betjemann takes.
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Mitsukoshi transformed consumer goods and everyday objects into works of art by enhancing their appearance through artistic design and manner of display. As a result, the discourse of aesthetic autonomy divorced artistic practices from the commercial realm, marginalizing commercial art and practice to a secondary role.
Fueling the impetus to design and decorate the interior space of the home, in particular the tokonoma , department stores concentrated on the sale of Nihonga or Japanese-style paintings. In reality, many of the top artists who served as exhibitors and jury members of the Bunten also earned a living by selling works of art produced specifically for the purpose of decorating the interior space of private middle class residences.
Within this context department stores used their magazines and advertising campaigns to propagate the notion that all modern homes must be decorated with contemporary works of art. By offering high quality works of art by well known contemporary artists at relatively low prices, department stores created a new form of merchandise that was accessible beyond art galleries and the government sponsored art exhibition known as the Bunten.
Established in , the government-sponsored national art exhibition known as the Bunten was the premiere exhibition format open to all artists from all artistic groups.
Oh argues that while this public art system, under which anyone was allowed to submit work, may have seemed democratic, the reality was that only works approved by a special jury of judges were accepted for display. This system was developed to enhance the authority of the Japanese Ministry of Education, which sought to serve the needs of the state by controlling the creation and development of modern art in Japan.
In response to these government led art policies and institutions, many modern artists formed their own art groups with the purpose of establishing independent venues for exhibition and display. As a result, department stores became a critical space for the exhibition of major art groups such as the Nihon Bijutsu-in Japan Art Institute and the Nika-kai Second Section Society until the establishment of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum in While department stores did not reap immediate financial rewards for hosting these art exhibitions, the long-term benefits were lucrative as they expanded their customer base by attracting a diverse array of visitors to the exhibitions.
More importantly, however, through the sponsorship of a number of major art exhibitions, department stores were able to enhance their reputations as cultural institutions. The zaiya anti-official artists who comprised these avant-garde groups contested the institutionalized discourse of art itself by actively resisting the exclusive hierarchical art establishment, which considered art to be detached from society and the reality of everyday life.