The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2015-11-19 02:04Z by Steven

The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan

Lee & Low Books
28 pages
11.1 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781600603631

Christy Hale, Author, Illustrator

Isamu was a boy of the East and the West. Born in the United States to a Japanese father and Scotch-Irish American mother, Isamu grew up in Japan. From his earliest years he felt the tug of his biracial heritage, never quite fitting in or thinking he belonged. Pleasure came, however, from the natural world. Color, light, and shadow. Earth, wood, and stone. Working with these forms of nature, Isamu found a way to blend his cultural divide. It was an exploration that became the cornerstone and spirit of his lifelong creative journey.

With lyrical text and luminous artwork, Christy Hale tells the story of the boy who grew up to be the multifaceted artist Isamu Noguchi. Guided by his desire to enrich everyday life with art while bringing together Eastern and Western influences, Noguchi created a vast array of innovative sculptures, stage sets, furniture, and public spaces. The East-West House is a tribute to the artistic beginnings of this pioneering modern sculptor and designer.

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The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey without Borders

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2012-05-15 17:48Z by Steven

The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey without Borders

Princeton University Press
440 pages
6 x 9
36 halftones
Paper ISBN: 9780691127828

Masayo Duus
Translated by Peter Duus

  • 2005 Non-fiction Finalist for the Kiriyama Prize, Pacific Rim Voices
  • One of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2005

Isamu Noguchi, born in Los Angeles as the illegitimate son of an American mother and a Japanese poet father, was one of the most prolific yet enigmatic figures in the history of twentieth-century American art. Throughout his life, Noguchi (1904-1988) grappled with the ambiguity of his identity as an artist caught up in two cultures.

His personal struggles—as well as his many personal triumphs—are vividly chronicled in The Life of Isamu Noguchi, the first full-length biography of this remarkable artist. Published in connection with the centennial of the artist’s birth, the book draws on Noguchi’s letters, his reminiscences, and interviews with his friends and colleagues to cast new light on his youth, his creativity, and his relationships.

During his sixty-year career, there was hardly a genre that Noguchi failed to explore. He produced more than 2,500 works of sculpture, designed furniture, lamps, and stage sets, created dramatic public gardens all over the world, and pioneered the development of environmental art. After studying in Paris, where he befriended Alexander Calder and worked as an assistant to Constantin Brancusi, he became an ardent advocate for abstract sculpture.

Noguchi’s private life was no less passionate than his artistic career. The book describes his romances with many women, among them the dancer Ruth Page, the painter Frida Kahlo, and the writer Anaïs Nin.

Despite his fame, Noguchi always felt himself an outsider. “With my double nationality and my double upbringing, where was my home?” he once wrote. “Where were my affections? Where my identity?” Never entirely comfortable in the New York art world, he inevitably returned to his father’s homeland, where he had spent a troubled childhood. This prize-winning biography, first published in Japanese, traces Isamu Noguchi’s lifelong journey across these artistic and cultural borders in search of his personal identity.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue
  • Chapter One: Yone and Leonie
  • Chapter Two: His Mother’s Child
  • Chapter Three: All-American Boy
  • Chapter Four: Journey of Self-Discovery
  • Chapter Five: Becoming a Nisei
  • Chapter Six: The Song of a Small
  • Chapter Seven: Honeymoon with Japan
  • Chapter Eight: The World of Dreams
  • Chapter Nine: The Universe in a Garden
  • Chapter Ten: Encounter with a Stonecutter
  • Chapter Eleven: Farewell to s Dreamer
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • Photgraphy Credits
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