Mono-ha, which translates roughly as “School of Things,” was a Tokyo-based contemporary art movement that developed in the late 1960s and lasted until the early 1970s. Founded by Nobuo Sekine (b. 1942), and fellow artist Lee Ufan (b. 1936), Mono-ha aimed to “eradicate the remnants of Modernism and [explore] a new art raising a candid vision of an undisguised world.” This movement juxtaposed natural and industrial material, such as stone, wood, water, steel panels, oil, and rubber, to explore and reinterpret the relationships among these materials and their connections with situation, location, and causality. In its attention to materials and its anti-formalist practices, the Mono-ha movement rejected Western notions of representation and also departed from the anti-art attitudes of Gutai and other Japanese avant-garde movements.

Adapted from

  • Gabriel Ritter, Label text , April 2014.

  • Jeffrey Grove, DMA unpublished material, 2012.

  • Jeffrey Grove, DMA Unpublished material, 2011.

Fun Facts

  • The term 'mono-ha' originally came from a journalist's derogatory comment about the lack of artistic intervention in mono-ha sculpture.

Web Resources

  • Tate
    Learn more about mono-ha.