It was during the1960s to the1970s that performance art became recognized as one of forms of art. Generally speaking, people might imagine a performance as something similar to a theatrical act or a dance. However, in the first place, people used the terms such as happenings and event, to describe “performance art”. It was literally not something to be trained and to be “performed on stage” like a theatrical act or a dance.
Happenings and event were presented by artists using their own bodies. They were “raw”, inartificial making of “an event”, which often caused a sensation. They were a reflection of rebellious spirit of younger generations at that time, so to speak, an invention of a new mode of expression. These practices were called performance art after the 1980s. Later some integrated different media (such as videos), when others introduced participatory styles(such as discussions) that made them an interactive tool among the people who are involved with.
In this global era of the 21st century, a journey of performance art is proceeding by artists all over the world. The artists have become more aware of their own bodies, in other words, of one’s very self, as if each of them is going against the waves of globalization alone. They have investigated more personal, intimate expressions and more tranquil space. From the nature of performance art to encourage participation of audience and interaction with others, it gradually has become utilized in relational art practices. On the other hand, some artists have addressed performance art in more radical way as an action to express intense or ironic attitudes towards chaos and repression of society.
Performance art may no longer be a radical, avant-garde form of art. However, since we have lived in the age of post-media where the boundary between the digital and the analog is blurred, artists are urged to reconsider the existence of the body. In this sense, when artists use their own bodies as a tool of an expression, performance art would take a more important part.