Tag Archives | Japan

Materiality in Japan: Making, Breaking and Conserving Works of Art and Architecture

April 11, 2014

Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Organized by Anton Schweizer, 2012-2014 IFA/Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
RSVP is required. Please find instructions below.

Japan is widely regarded as an exemplar in terms of the preservation of material integrity, the perpetuation of historical production techniques and the responsible preservation of works of architecture and artifacts in museum contexts. The Japanese certification system for Cultural Property – which also includes the category of Living National Treasures for specialist craftsmen who embody manufacturing techniques as Intangible Cultural Property – has earned far-reaching acclaim. It is frequently overlooked, however, that there is actually a wide range of divergent approaches towards originality and authenticity even in contemporary Japan. While some of these inconsistencies find their counterparts in the West, others are related to pre-modern cultural practices, e.g.…

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Memory and photographs: reflections on the aftermath of the 3.11 disaster

 Fuyubi Nakamura, Institute for Art Anthropology at Tama Art University, Tokyo

Utstau Isatomae, Minamisanriku, Miyagi, June 2011

What would we look for if our hometown were swept away? Memory in material form? The tsunami—triggered by the massive earthquake that hit north-eastern Japan on 11 March last year—ruthlessly swallowed up several towns along the costal line, taking away the lives of numerous people.

Utstau Isatomae, Minamisanriku, Miyagi, July 2011

In the aftermath of the disaster, various kinds of local residents’ possessions—if they were deemed ‘valuable’—were rescued from the debris. These recovered items were often called omoide no shina or ‘objects of memory’, which included family albums, photographs and dolls among others. The items were then cleaned by volunteers and later displayed with the hope of reconnecting them with their owners, or their family or friends.…

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CFP: Workshop on Natural Disaster and the City: Historical Perspectives from Southeast Asia and Japan, 1945-2011

Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Convenors: Professor Yoko Hayami and Dr Loh Kah Seng

16-17 January 2013

The workshop invites papers that undertake inter-disciplinary and transnational approaches to the study of natural disasters. It aims to historically contextualise the causes and consequences of disasters and to compare them across societies. The focus is on cities in Southeast Asia and Japan after World War Two, as expressed along three general lines of inquiry.

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