Core Program

Edo Avant Garde: Film Screening and Q&A with Director and Producer Linda Hoaglund

Detail from Cockscombs, MOA Museum of Art, Atami

Saturday, February 3, 2024
2:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST

In conjunction with the Center & Clark’s 2023-24 Core Program, Open Edo: Diverse, Ecological, and Global Perspectives on Japanese Art, 1603-1868, we are pleased to present a screening of Linda Hoaglund’s film, Edo Avant Garde. This film reveals the pivotal role Japanese artists of the Edo era played in setting the stage for the “modern art” movement in the West. During the Edo era, audacious Japanese artists innovated abstraction, minimalism, surrealism, geometric composition, and the illusion of 3-D. Their elegant originality is most striking in images of the natural world depicted on folding screens and scrolls by Sotatsu, Korin, Okyo, Rosetsu, Shohaku, and many others who left their art unsigned.

To capture the dynamism, scale, and meticulous details of the art, Hoaglund worked with Kasamatsu Norimichi, the Japanese Academy award-winning cinematographer, who used Sony’s cutting-edge 4K camera to film 200 works of art in museums and private collections across the U.S. and Japan. Hoaglund’s team also filmed temples, shrines, bamboo groves, misted valleys, and churning waves to imagine how they may have inspired the artists centuries ago. Curators, priests, scholars, and collectors provide insights into the genesis of their mesmerizing, prescient creations.

Director: Linda Hoaglund
Cinematographer: Kasamatsu Norimichi
Composers: Satoshi Takeishi and Shoko Nagai
Film running time: 83 minutes. A Q&A with Linda Hoaglund will follow the screening.

Linda Hoaglund is an award-winning bilingual, bicultural filmmaker born and raised in Japan. The daughter of American missionaries, she attended Japanese public schools and graduated from Yale University, magna cum laude. Since 2007, she has directed and produced five feature-length films about art and the relationship between Japan and the U.S.: Wings of Defeat (2007), ANPO: Art X War (2010), Things Left Behind (2012), The Wound and The Gift (2014), and Edo Avant-Garde (2019). In 2022, Hoaglund developed Investigating Japan’s Edo Avant Garde, the arts curriculum inspired by her film, with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art.

Hoaglund has also subtitled 250 Japanese films, including Seven Samurai, by Akira Kurosawa, and Spirited Away (Academy Award 2003), by Hayao Miyazaki. In 2004, the Foreign Minister of Japan awarded her a commendation for her subtitles. In 2022, Chronicle Books published Just Enough Design, a book featuring the works and philosophy of renowned designer Taku Satoh, that Hoaglund conceived, edited, and translated. She has also translated essays by Issey Miyake, Ishiuchi Miyako, Yokoo Tadanori, Kirino Natsuo, Moriyama Daido, and other renowned artists and writers.

The screening is free to attend with advance registration, and will be held in-person at the Clark Library. Registration will close on Wednesday, January 31 at 5:00 p.m. Seating is limited at the Clark Library; walk-in registrants are welcome as space permits.

Image: Detail from Cockscombs, MOA Museum of Art, Atami (Filmed by Kasamatsu Norimichi)