International Symposium: “Histories of Japanese Art and Their Global Contexts – New Directions” at the Heidelberg Univerisity
Under the circumstance where globalization is becoming an issue in various areas, researchers in art history are also putting more effort into “World Art History” or “Global Art History.” Against this backdrop, the International Symposium: “Histories of Japanese Art and Their Global Contexts – New Directions” was organized by the Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University at its Karl Jaspers Centre from October 22 through 24, 2015. This symposium was held in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the “Ishibashi Foundation Visiting Professorship in Japanese Art History,” which supports the dispatch of visiting professors in Japanese art history from Japan to Heidelberg University. The symposium was composed of seven panels: I. “‘Making Worlds’ – Imagining Japan,” II. “Global Entanglements of East-Asian Export Artifacts,” III. “Artistic Interactions between Japan and China in the early Twentieth Century,” IV. “Japanese Art and Public Discourses,” V. “Collecting Japan and China in EuroAmerica and the Formation of a “World Art History,” VI. “Contemporaneity in Postwar Art,” and VII. “Japan in International Exhibitions.”
Twenty-two researchers presented their research outcomes, and discussions were held in each panel. Keynote speeches were given by Dr. Christine Guth (Royal College of Art and V&A Museum, London) and Dr. Timon Screech (SOAS, London). Emiko Yamanashi was invited from this Institute to make a presentation under the title of “The art historian, collector and dealer Hayashi Tadamasa – negotiating the concepts of “Fine arts” in Europe and “bijutsu” in Japan” in Panel V prior to “The Origin of Species and the Beginning of World Art History: Kunstwissenschaft’s Encounter with Darwinian Aesthetics around 1900” (Dr. Ingeborg Reichle: Humboldt University, Berlin) and “Collecting East-Asian Art in Imperial Germany and the Predicament of World Art History” (Dr. Doris Croissant: Heidelberg University).
The three-day presentations and discussions revealed that Japanese artifacts and Japanese art history have also been discussed differently in various regions in and after the Age of Exploration, when people, goods, knowledge and information started to move significantly. The report of the symposium will be published in 2017.