International Symposium 2008 Count 10 Before You Say Asia -Asian Art after Postmodernism-

International Symposium 2008
Count 10 Before You Say Asia -Asian Art after Postmodernism-

It has been nearly 20 years since the contemporary art in Asia has stepped into the limelight. During this period, the Japan Foundation has identified specific issues in this region, picked up the voices in the field, and gained an understanding of the rapidly changing environment. Throughout the 1990s to the present, we have organized programs to reflect on these circumstances, including a series of international symposia. This international symposium, which will be the 6th edition, will be held to reevaluate the existing discourses and draw on future prospects of Asian contemporary art.

Date/Time: Saturday, November 22, 2008 14:00-17:30
Sunday, November 23, 2008 10:30-17:30
Venue: JFIC Hall “Sakura,” The Japan Foundation Access
(4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
Organized by: The Japan Foundation
Admission free: (signing up in advance necessary) / Capacity 100 seats / Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation available
Objective: The integration of non-western contemporary art into the global art scene in the past 20 or so years has been rapid and explosive. The theoretical frame of postmodernism, proposed within the western perspective of the modernist impasse, accelerated this process of integration in the name of multiculturalism and post-colonialism. With the increasing recognition of the possible complicity between this postmodernist discourse and the globalizing tendency of capitalist system and of its possible generation of (degeneration into) “cosmetic” multi-culturalism, we are now standing at a historical juncture where the necessity to reevaluate the achievements and problems of postmodernist discourse and its effect in relation to Asian contexts is impending. This symposium is planned to answer that need by looking back on what has happened in the postmodern re-structuring of the contemporary art world in order to resist while taking advantage of that continuing trend.

It consists of three sessions: the first will be devoted to the historico-theoretical investigation of how the category of “Asian art” has been formulated, used, and transformed in various regional contexts in relation to postmodernism (if necessary, the history of “modernism” will also be reviewed); the second session will be devoted to exemplary case studies to balance out the abstract theoretical nature of the first session. By focusing on the reception of the work of a particular group of artists from different regions, the session will explore the mechanism of how the postmodernist viewpoint opened up a new perspective while creating its own biases and blind spots; and the third session will be devoted to the reinvestigation of the concept of Asian or Asian-ness with special emphasis on the artistic genres such as craft and drawing and the concepts of decorativeness, which have traditionally been considered the central field where “Asian” character is believed to make its appearance.

While the postmodernist critique of the discursive essentialism bankrupted the possibility of believing in the concept like “Asian-ness,” we are left with the question whether this deconstruction does not indicate the risk of liquidating the meaningful locality of “Asian” cultures. Presented in conjunction with each other, the three sessions are expected to provide some new ways, if not answers, to continually engage in a productive consideration of the complicated, often interpenetrating, relationship between the local and the global in Asian contexts in the coming post-postmodern era.

Panelists: Florina H. Capistrano-Baker (Director, International Exhibitions, Ayala Museum)
Fan Di'an (Director, National Art Museum of China)
Patrick D. Flores (Professor, Art Studies Department, University of the Philippines Diliman)
Hayashi Michio (Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University)
Hirayoshi Yukihiro (Associate Professor, Museum and Archive, Kyoto Institute of Technology)
Hosaka Kenjiro (Assistant Curator, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)
Kajiya Kenji (Associate Professor, Faculty of Art, Hiroshima City University)
Kamiya Yukie (Chief Curator, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art)
Kim Boggi (Editor of art in culture and art in ASIA)
Kuroda Raiji (Chief Curator, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum)
Kanai Tadashi (Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, Shinshu University)
Maeda Kyoji (Staff Writer, Yomiuri Shimbun)
Tanaka Masayuki (Associate Professor, College of Art and Design, Musashino Art University)
Advisers: Hayashi Michio, Maeda Kyoji
To sign-up: Please send your name, affiliation/occupation, address, tel&fax no., e-mail, and date(s) of participation for by e-mail or fax by November 14 (Fri)


Fax: 03-5369-6038 (attn: Ms. Morimura)
*Please use the sign-up sheet.

Sign-up Sheet(Word:42.5KB)
Sign-up Sheet(PDF:49.1KB)

For inquiries: Visual Arts Div., Arts Dept., The Japan Foundation
Attention: Furuichi Yasuko, Hoashi Aki, Suzuki Keiko
(4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004)
Tel: 03-5369-6062 Fax: 03-5369-6038 E-mail: E-mail


Day 1
Saturday, November 22 14:00-17:30

14:00-14:10 Opening Remark by the Organizer (The Japan Foundation)
14:10-17:30 Session 1: The formation, reception, and transformation of “Asian Art” in the context of postmodernism
This opening session tries to reinvestigate the discursive (re-)formation and transformation of the concept of “Asian art” in the context of postmodernism in various regions. The regional characteristics of the concept will not be treated as separate instances but be examined from the viewpoint of mutual determinations and their interactions with non-Asian worlds.

Moderator: Hayashi Michio

Opening Remark for Session 1 Hayashi Michio

Presentation 1
Patrick D. Flores “The Curatorial Turn in Southeast Asia and the Afterlife of the
Presentation 2
Kajiya Kenji “Asian Contemporary Art in Japan and the Ghost of Modernity”
Presentation 3
Fan Di'an “Chinese Contemporary Art: The Dynamics between the Global and the Local”

Comment Kuroda Raiji
Q&A / Discussion

Day 2
Sunday, November 23 10:30-17:30

10:30-13:30 Session 2: Blindness and Insight of Postmodernism: Case Studies
This session will follow up on Session 1, which reviews the categorization of “Asian Art” in the past 20 years from historical and theoretical points of view, and focus on individual artists as case studies. It will examine how this categorization or the postmodern discourse that supported such specifications augmented or diminished the way in how the artists' works were received.

Moderator: Maeda Kyoji
Opening Remark for Session 2 Maeda Kyoji

Presentation 1
Kim Boggi “At the Crossroads of Cultural Clash: In the Case of Suh Do-Ho”
Presentation 2
Hirayoshi Yukihiro “Huang Yong Ping and the Agitation of the West and the East”
Presentation 3
Kanai Tadashi “Becoming India: "Locality"of Subodh Gupta”

Comment Kamiya Yukie
Q&A / Discussion
13:30-14:30 Lunch Break
14:30-17:30 Session 3: Liquidation of “Asian-ness”? : The Specter of Locality
The third and last session will focus on the artistic genres such as craft, drawing, decorative art, and installation art (in the term's broad sense) that have traditionally been considered the central field where “Asian” character is believed to make its appearance. Do these genres still function as privileged topoi for the inscription of the local difference? If not, what are the roles that they are playing now in the context of local-global interactions?

Moderator: Hayashi Michio
Opening Remark for Session 3 Hayashi Michio

Presentation 1
Hosaka Kenjiro “Drawing: An Inquiry into the 'Modern' ”
Presentation 2
Tanaka Masayuki “The Politics of the 'Decorative' ”
Presentation 3
Florina H. Capistrano-Baker “Locating Authenticity: Is this Asian Dress?”

Comment Maeda Kyoji
Q&A / Discussion

Wrap-up Hayashi Michio

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