SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Deconstructing Boundaries: Is 'East Asian Art History' possible?


Date: 10 October 2015Time: 9:30 AM

Finishes: 11 October 2015Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Symposium

Deconstructing boundaries


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-Hibino (Agency of Cultural Affairs) 
  • Masaaki Itakura (University of Tokyo)
  • Atsushi Miura (University of Tokyo)
  • Doshin Sato (Tokyo University of the Arts)
  • Arata Shimao (Gakushuin University)

Other speakers: 

  • Gen Adachi  Fellow of the Agency of Cultural Affairs, Japanese Government,  Visiting Fellow of TrAIN Research Centre at University of the Arts London)
  • Misato Ido (University of Tokyo)
  • Atsuko Ishikawa (Gakushuin University)
  • Ji-young Kim (Tokyo University of the Arts)
  • Maki Kaneko (University of Kansas)
  • Malcolm McNeill (SOAS, University of London)
  • Seung Yeon Sang (SISJAC)
  • 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)
  • Yasuko Tsuchikane (SISJAC / Cooper Union)
  • Toshio Watanabe (University of the Arts London)

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