Modern traditions: A Japanese art history weekend

External event - Royal Academy of Arts

Saturday 7 May, 2022 - Sunday 8 May, 2022

Weekend art history course

About the course

Royal Academy has organised a weekend course exploring the history of art and making in Japan, inspired by the exhibition ‘Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection’.

The Japanese term ‘bijutsu’ – a translation of our Western term ‘art’ – did not appear until the late 19th century. At this point other terms were coined too; ‘kaiga’ (painting), ‘chōkoku’ (sculpture), ‘kōgei’ (craft) and ‘kenchiku’ (architecture) – as well as ‘sho’ (calligraphy), an artform typically neglected by the West.

This weekend-long art history and theory course will explore Japan’s aesthetic history, from the early influences of China and Korea, to the longstanding creative impact of Buddhism on the Japanese way of life. Expert tutors will guide participants through the complex histories of alternative art forms such as manga, ceramics, ink painting and Japanese gardens, as well as exploring the decorative arts and their journey into Western culture.

The weekend will include an exclusive visit to the exhibition Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection as well as a talk by the President of the Royal Academy, Rebecca Salter, on Japanese printmaking methods.

About the Speakers

Dr Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer is Lecturer in Japanese Arts, Culture, and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute, specialising in modern Japanese art. She has held postdoctoral positions at Emory University, Atlanta, GA and Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C. Her books include Bokujinkai: Japanese Calligraphy and the Postwar Avant-Garde (2020), and she is currently working on a history of calligraphy modernisation in East Asia. She is the course director of the new MA programme in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies, launched in 2020.

Siân Bowen is Professor of Drawing at Arts University Bournemouth and has had a long-standing interest in Japanese art and culture, having spent four years in Kyoto as a Monbusho Scholar. She has developed drawing-centred projects in a diverse range of environments including transient architectural spaces, archives, archaeological sites, herbaria and museums. As Artist-in-Residence at the Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, she is currently focusing on two historical Japanese collections, the Harry S Parkes collection of paper and the John J Quin Collection of lacquer.

Dr Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere is the founding Director and currently Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute, and Professor of Japanese Art and Culture at the University of East Anglia. She has been the IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Art at the Department of Asia, British Museum, and was lead curator for their exhibitions Kazari: Decoration and Display in Japan, 15th -19th centuries (2002), Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan (2007) and Citi Exhibition Manga held in the Sainsbury Exhibition Galleries (2019).

Dr Sadamura Koto is a Curator of the RA exhibition Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection (2022). She specialises in the study of the Japanese painter Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831–1889) on whom she has published extensively. She is a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow (2021–2022) at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Asia, the British Museum (since 2016).

Rachel Peat is Assistant Curator of Non-European Works of Art at Royal Collection Trust. She is editor of Japan: Courts and Culture (published May 2020), the first publication dedicated exclusively to Japanese art in the Royal Collection, and curator of the exhibition of the same name at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, April 2022 – March 2023.

Josephine Rout is a Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum where she looks after the Japanese collections of Japanese Fashion, Design and Metalwork. At the V&A, she was Assistant Curator for the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art refurbishment, curated the Friday Late Neo Nipponica and was Project Curator of the exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk. Her first book, Japanese Dress in Detail, was published in 2020.

Rebecca Salter studied at Bristol Polytechnic and then at Kyoto City University of the Arts in Japan. During her six years living in Japan, she studied traditional Japanese woodblock printing and has subsequently written two books on the subject. Salter was elected as a Royal Academician in 2014 and, in 2017, was elected as the Keeper of the Royal Academy. In December 2019 she was elected the 27th President of the Royal Academy of Arts and is first female President since the Academy was founded in 1768.

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