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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Culture:Japanese (born 1931)
Title:No Up No Down
Date Made:1980
Measurements:Sheet: 11 13/16 in x 11 11/16 in; 30.0 cm x 29.7 cm; Image: 8 1/4 in x 8 1/4 in; 21.0 cm x 21.0 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2010.50
Credit Line:Gift of Doris Lee and John H. Rich, Jr.

Label Text:
In this artist’s proof, Ay-O explores subject matter typical of his oeuvre: animals. Such subjects have a long tradition in Japanese printmaking, especially the genre of kacho-e (flower and bird pictures). The title of this work also references the artist’s participation in the Fluxus movement, with its emphasis on the indeterminate nature of the art object and the playful potential of language. While "No Up No Down" is the English title, the artist has added other notations in Japanese, in yellow ink. Along the bottom we read, “A conversation of two birds flying abreast,” which could also be translated as “A conversation of a happily married couple,” a recurrent theme in the artist’s work. The text on the left margin says, “This work has no subordinate side,” indicating that this work could be displayed in any orientation, with no true up and no true down.

BB, 2014

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