Deconstructing Boundaries: Is ‘East Asian Art History’ possible?


Saturday 10 October, 2015 - Sunday 11 October, 2015
9:30am BST - 6:00pm BST

Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London | Russell Square, WC1H 0XG

About the Symposium

The aim of this symposium is to give insight into the changing boundaries and concepts of ‘art’ in Japan and East Asia. We hope especially to illuminate the exchanges and dialogues that took place among the artists of Japan and other East Asian nations.

The birth of East Asian art history could not have occurred without the symbiotic relationships among various groups of artists. Papers will challenge the existing geographic, temporal, and generic paradigms that currently frame the art history of East Asia. What was the relationship between artistic production and political discourse? What role did abiding cultural legacies play in the artistic development of East Asia at large? Submissions are encouraged from scholars interested in issues surrounding the emergence of the geo-cultural boundaries in East Asian art, institutional approaches to art and history, the idea of ‘national art’, or new frameworks for the concept of modernity in East Asian art. Questions relating to methodology in (re-)constructing a broad history of East Asian art will also be addressed in this symposium.

At this conference, the discussions regarding deconstructing boundaries of East Asian art will expand to include scholars from outside Japanese art history, i.e. Chinese and Korean art historians.

Keynote speakers from Japan:

Yoko Hayashi (Agency of Cultural Affairs)
Masaaki Itakura (University of Tokyo)
Atsushi Miura (University of Tokyo)
Doshin Sato (Tokyo University of Arts)
Arata Shimao (Gakushuin University)

Other speakers:

Gen Adachi (Independent scholar)
Misato Ido (University of Tokyo)
Atsuko Ishikawa (Gakushuin University)
Jiyoung Kim (Tokyo University of Arts)
Maki Kaneko (University of Kansas)
Malcolm McNeill (SOAS, University of London)
Seung Yeon Sang (Boston University)
Timon Screech (SOAS, University of London)
Minjong Shin (University of Tokyo)
Eriko Tomziawa-Kay (SISJAC/SOAS, University of London)
Toshio Watanabe (University of the Arts London)


Rosina Buckland (National Museum of Scotland)
Timothy Clark (British Museum)
Charlotte Horlyck (SOAS, University of London)
Angus Lockyer (SOAS, University of London)
Shane McCausland (SOAS, University of London)
Timon Screech (SOAS, University of London)
Yasuko Tsuchikane (Cooper Union)
Toshio Watanabe (University of the Arts London)

The symposium is free to attend and open to all.
To register and for further information please visit:

SOAS website

Organiser: Dr Eriko Tomizawa-Kay and Centres & Programmes Office
Contact email:
Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893
Sponsor: Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, JSPS London and JSPS Japan

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