surrealists in asia
December 7, 2007 4:07 AM   Subscribe

Which European artists and writers visited Asia between 1900 and 1950?

I am researching the influence of Buddhism on Surrealism. I'm looking for information about who actually visited Asia (India, China, Japan, or other parts). If you know anything about this, especially if you can direct me to your source, it would be much appreciated. Particularly interested in Georges Bataille, Artaud, Breton, Tzara, Eluard, Ernst, Michaux, etc. I have info. on the travels of many of these people but am always looking for more.
posted by arcadia to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hermann Hesse visited several Asian countries in an effort to develop his ideas on Buddhism during this time period.
posted by saladin at 7:10 AM on December 7, 2007

Ghost Ships by Robert McNab is an account of Eluard's time in Indochina, among other things. Perhaps you already know the book.
posted by azure_swing at 8:48 AM on December 7, 2007

Would J.G. Ballard count? He was born and spent his childhood there.
posted by dilettante at 8:55 AM on December 7, 2007

This might be outside your purview, but there's also the interesting case of the English writer Reginald Horace Blyth, who helped popularize the haiku in the West after spending half his life in Asia (Korea and Japan), and did so during the time frame you're interested in.
posted by azure_swing at 9:02 AM on December 7, 2007

I don't know if he's much of a surrealist or what contact if any he had with the people you list, but Roerich, who falls into your time period, lived for a while in India and painted many "Asian" subjects (Tibetan, Himmalayan, Central Asian).
posted by pamccf at 9:22 AM on December 7, 2007

John Blofeld ?
posted by adamvasco at 9:43 AM on December 7, 2007

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