As I write I am taking a break from translating an article by a Taiwanese scholar. The theme is modern art in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period. It and another, similar piece by a Korean scholar now waiting in my inbox raise all sorts of interesting questions. The influence of Asian and African art on the 19th century avant-garde in Europe (impressionists influenced by Japanese ukiyo-e; cubists influenced by African sculpture) is an oft-told tale. But here we have something different, colonial situations in which an art world is formed, modeled on the same kinds of organizations and exhibitions found in the metropole, in which both colonized and colonizer artists participate. Since the historical periods in question are the 1920s, 30s and 40s, both are influenced by European arts trends filtered through Japan then transformed by propaganda in the build-up to war between Japan and China and then WWII in the Pacific. I find myself wondering if similar art world interactions were going on in other colonies around the world. Does anyone know?
Colonial Modern Art and Propaganda