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Major 'Berlin-Tokyo' art show hits German capital

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More than 100 years of fine art from Berlin and Tokyo will go on display this week in a major new show at the New National Gallery in the German capital, organizers said Tuesday.

"Berlin-Tokyo, Tokyo-Berlin -- The Art of Two Cities" opening Wednesday will showcase painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, video art and sketches from groundbreaking German and Japanese artists, the director of Berlin's state museums, Peter-Klaus Schuster, told reporters.

More than 500 objects dating from around 1900 to the present day will be featured at the exhibition, which was assembled by the New National Gallery and Tokyo's Mori Art Museum. The show drew 340,000 people to the Mori Towers in the Tokyo district of Roppongi before it closed in early May.

The Berlin exhibition, running until October 3, reveals the influence German and Japanese artists had on each other over the decades, despite their geographic distance.

Painters from the Secessionist movement encountered Japanese art at shows in Paris around the turn of the last century. Around the same time, Tokyo artists discovered Western oil painting.

The give and take continued through the Dada movement, 1920s photography, the Bauhaus period and World War II, particularly between filmmakers working in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

After the war, exchange programs and booming economies in both countries fostered cultural connections, seen in Neo-Dada, Fluxus and 1980s installation art.

The top floor of the museum, transformed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, will feature contemporary works.

"The fascination on both sides continues," Schuster said.

Featured artists include Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc, George Grosz and Joseph Beuys of Germany and Murayama Tomoyoshi, Iwao Yamawaki and Takehiko Mizutani of Japan.



AFP 061812 GMT 06 06

COPYRIGHT 2004 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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