Bruce Yonemoto The First Karaoke: Enka!

A group of artists reimagine the potential of this meiji-period musical genre

By John Tain

Bruce Yonemoto, The First Karaoke: ENKA!, 2017 (installationview, JACCC, Los Angeles). Photo: Wei Tarn Wilton Yeh. Courtesy the artist

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC), Los Angeles, 26 February – 2 April As a musical genre, enka originally sprung up in Meiji-period Japan as a way to circumvent censorship of dissent by setting political speech to music; in the postwar years however it has mainly come to be known as a medium for sentimental ballads. For this exhibition, Los Angeles-based Bruce Yonemoto has worked with a range of artists from both sides of the Pacific to reimagine the potential…

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