2022.04 奥多摩町立せせらぎの里美術館










Postmodernism and “Ma”

Jiro Unno

The current exhibition at the Seseraginosato Art Museum in Okutama is subtitled “Postmodern and ‘Ma'” (until May 29, 2022). Since the exhibition does not go into detail, I would like to  elaborate what I think about this subtitle.
The term “postmodern” means that we have to consider what modernity is. I believe that it is the rejection of divine and royal authority, the advocacy of human rights, and the application of rationality (e.g., logical science) as the basis for these rights.
It is certain that mankind has gained great material wealth as a result of this. However, it also brought about adverse effects and contradictions, and the First World War made people keenly aware of these. It was around this time that people became aware of the postmodern era.
However, postmodernism is easier said than done. Values that replace human rights and logical rationalism, and the mechanisms and technologies that guarantee them, must function. Modernity has survived beyond the Second World War, despite its detrimental effects.

Nevertheless, with the development of science and technology, mankind’s actions have continued to devastate the earth’s natural environment, endangering its very survival. This is no time to be fighting for supremacy.
In the postmodern era, we are expected to live in a common society based on the understanding that the world is a virtual one created by our consciousness. A sense of “MA” (dynamic equilibrium) that does not adhere to a single set of values is widely needed in this age of change. We have reached such an era.

(translated by Sam Shikama)