Ming Tiampo

Professor of Art History, School for Studies in Art and Culture; Director of the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature Art and Culture, Carleton University


Dr. Tiampo received a Japan Foundation fellowship for one year from 2009-2010 and carried out research in Tokyo. The fellowship gave Dr. Tiampo opportunities to connect with and learn from prominent Gutai artists.

I conducted research on the Gutai group, which contributed to finishing my book, Gutai: Decentering Modernism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), and also to the exhibition that I co-curated at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum with Alexandra Munroe, Gutai: Splendid Playground, in 2013.

Spending time with the Gutai artists was a privilege and a joy that I will never forget. One particularly wonderful memory I have is when MATSUTANI Takesada came to Tokyo to attend the opening of the Gutai exhibition at the National Art Center, Tokyo. Taking time out of his busy schedule, he also came to teach a workshop at my daughter’s kindergarten, which was just around the corner from NACT. The kids loved him, and one of the teachers recently wrote to tell me how inspiring it was for her as an artist and an educator.

The Japan Foundation fellowship, in combination with an earlier Monbusho fellowship during my Ph.D. studies, was transformational. While the Monbusho enabled me to complete my studies, the JF grant allowed me to complete two major projects, and establish a career as a professor and as a curator. More importantly, the work that I did contributed significantly to the international reception of the Gutai group, and to postwar Japanese art more broadly.

Gutai: Decentering Modernism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010)
Gutai: Splendid Playground exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2013.