Ai Fukunaga is a PhD candidate at SOAS. She was an Assistant Curator of the Okada Museum of Art, Hakone, for three years and was responsible for the East Asian ceramic collection until 2014. Her research interests include the transnational cultural exchange in creating, using, and collecting ceramics in the pre-modern to modern periods.
The second half of the 19th century is the significant period for the formation of Japanese ceramic collections outside Japan as well as the creation of history of Japanese ceramics as an academic subject worldwide. This research investigates the collection of Augustus Wollaston Franks (1826-1897) in the British Museum and the collection of Hon. Henry Marsham (1845-1908) in the Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery. My research addresses the questions of what meaning and function of Japanese ceramics collection were held for the collectors, how the objects were selected, and who was involved in the process with careful attention to whipped tea (matcha) and steeped tea (sencha) utensils. This dissertation employs three main scopes. Firstly, it addresses the shifting framework of Japanese ceramics in institutional and private collecting between the mid-19th century and the beginning of the 20th century by examining the relationship of the works from Japan and history of art, archaeology and anthropology of the time. Secondly, it analyses the personal networks of the collectors in collecting Japanese objects and knowledge based on the museum archives. Finally, it discusses the representation of tea utensils, which came to be understood as the most important category of Japanese ceramics from the 1870s.
- Tourism and Collecting in Kyoto: The Miyako Hotel as an Agent in the Creation of the Hon. Henry Marsham Collection of Japanese Art, Maidstone Museum, Kent’, Journal for Art Market Studies, Vol.2(3), September 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23690/jams.v2i3.66
- The Network of Collecting Japanese Ceramics Focussing on A.W. Franks.' (明治神宮PhD日本研究奨学生レポート：日本陶磁蒐集のネットワーク―A.W.フランクスを中心に―) Kamizono: Journal of the Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute. (18) 195-199. November 2017.
- Beyond Kakiemon: Japanese Porcelain of the 17th-18th century, presented at the Influence of Japanese Porcelain on European Ceramics, Oxford Ceramics Group Study Day, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 30 November 2019.
- Collaborative Arts that Archive Memories. Hon Henry Marsham's Travel Albums from Meiji Japan, presented at Lingering in the Memory Palace: Rethinking the Archive through the Arts, symposium, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, London, 12 November 2019.
- Japanese Tea Culture in Transition: From Playful Gatherings to Ritualistic Art of the Nation, 11th International Convention of Asian Scholars, Kamerlingh Onnes, Leiden, 17 July 2019.
- Performing Meisho: The Miyako Hotel, Art, and Tourism in Meiji Kyoto, presented at Reconceptualizing Meisho: Topography, Memory, and Representation, International symposium, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Cambridge, MA, 31 October 2018.
- A Different Type of Tea? British Collecting of Ceramics for Tea Gatherings from Meiji-Era Japan, Focusing on the British Museum and Maidstone Museum Collections, The 14th EAJS PhD workshop, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 10 October 2018.
- Materialise Scholars' Utopia: Rethinking the Display for Sencha in the Late Edo Period, Display as Ensemble, International symposium, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, Norwich, 15 June 2018.
- The National and the Regional: Actors in the Collecting of Japanese Ceramics in Britain around the turn of the 20th century, presented at Politics of Collecting Asia: 1800 - Present Symposium, Senate House, SOAS, University of London, 28 April 2018.
- Ming Porcelains in Renaissance Europe: the Medici Gift to the Elector of Saxony, presented at Othello’s Island 2017, the 5th Annual Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, Nicosia, Cyprus, 6 April, 2017.
- China in Japan, steeped tea (sencha) in the 18th and 19th centuries Japan, presented at English Ceramic Circle Study Day, at SOAS, University of London, 26 November 2016.
- British Association for Japanese Studies
- European Association for Japanese Studies
- European Association for Asian Art and Archaeology
- Japan Art History Forum
- Japan Society of Oriental Ceramic Studies (Tōyō tōji gakkai)
- The Japan Art History Society
- The Oriental Ceramic Society
- The Philosophical Society of Gakushuin University