The Hijikata Tatsumi archive was acquired by the Art Center in April 1998, as the first initiative in constructing ‘research archives.’ As a central figure of the 1960s avant-garde, Hijikata collaborated with a nuber of representative artists of the time in creating his butoh performances. As works of ‘trans-artistry,’ rather than mere examples of ‘performance art,’ this model supplied a particular apt starting point for the creation of our ‘research archives.’ Practically speaking, we were also particularly lucky to receive a majority of the materials in an already collected and ordered form from the Hijikata Memorial Archive (Asbestos-Kan, Meguro, Tokyo). The mission of the Art Center is to preserve the life of such materials in a cultural environment that tends to prefer more establishment art forms.
The ‘research archive’ consists mainly of material resources, and more recently a ‘digital archive’ that makes use of various digital media and data gathering systems. Although it remains an archive of primarily material documents, we have also begun to focus on digitalizing resources. Our current work therefore entails both the organization and exhibitions of documents, and the simultaneous construction of a database of digital archives.
With thanks to Mr Morishita for his generosity and expertise.