Harue Koga

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Harue Koga (1895 -1933) was a Japanese surrealist/avant-garde painter. His birth name was Yoshio Koga (古賀 亀雄?). His father was the head priest of the Buddhist Zenpuku Temple. He enjoyed painting when he was he child and in 1912 he dropped out of school and moved to Tokyo to study art. He studied at the Pacific Ocean Art Institute and the Japanese Watercolor Painting Institute. He returned to his hometown after the suicide of his housemate in 1915. The following year he entered the Buddhist priesthood and returned to Tokyo. In order to follow in his father’s footstep, he entered university to study theology in 1916. He dropped out in 1918 though, and from this point on would concentrate on painting.

After a slump lasting several years, he won Nika Prize for Burial (also known as Entombment) and From the Upstairs Window in 1922. He became one of the 13 founder members of an avant-garde art group “Action” in the same year. His style changed rapidly, with diverse influences like Paul Klee, Yasunari Kawabata, cubism (Fernand Léger), surrealism, de Chirico.

Main works

Between 1926 and 1929 and painted a series of magical childlike works.

Harue Koga: Fireworks 1927

Sea, Koga’s most famous work first appeared at the 16th Nika Exhibition in 1929. It contains various motifs which Koga had copied from magazines and post cards.

Harue Koga Sea 1929

See: http://www.bigakukai.jp/aesthetics_online/aesthetics_13/text/text13_nagata.pdf

Harue Koga: Innocent Moonlit Night 1929

Other notable Koga photomontage-style works are:

  •  Makeup Out-of-Doors
  • Intellectual Expression Traversing a Real Line