SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

The spirits of the age in modern Japanese art and its philosophical significance: Some remarks on Yuichi Takahashi, the “Shirakaba” school, and Ryuhshi Kawabata etc

Prof. Toru ITO (Kyoto Institute of Technology, Dept of Architecture and Design)

Date: 7 May 2010Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 7 May 2010Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B104

Type of Event: Seminar

Art lives within reality, but deviates from it. The deviation leads to the construction of fiction. Yet, even if art were unreal, it would not be meaningless. For, the intention which upholds the author’s life is preserved in the confrontation with the reality. Such intention is inseparable not only from the author’s personal encounters but also from the historical situations which develop under the multi-faceted dimensions beyond art. The fiction brought by the deviation from reality serves as the base for people foreign to art in that age, which can be described by “Zeitgeist” in German. In this talk, I shall examine some art works which appeared in Japanese modernization since the Meiji restoration, and consider what the spirits of the age in which the contemporary Japanese lived was and how they underwent the changes. It does not merely intend to demonstrate the intellectual history of a particular ethnic group of an island in East Asia. If, first of all, modernization is the fundamental movement leading to the present, then the vestige it leaves in the human mind should indicate a universal problem for modern people both in developing and developed countries.

Organiser: Shane McCausland

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