National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo > Reconsidering “Form”: Towards a More Open Discussion

The 37th International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Reconsidering “Form”: Towards a More Open Discussion
Statement of Intent

Statement of Intent
Registration Form

Statement of Intent

  This symposium takes as its subject “form,” that born of and amidst human endeavors. Dimensionality, scale, color, tone, material. Broader definitions of form are also included in the symposium purview, such as syntax and style in literature, carriage and behavior in dance.

  Many and diverse things are encompassed in the term “form.” How, when and what sort of person created the form, how was it received, and how has it been handed on. Hints gained through a detailed examination of form’s characteristics, materials, methods and remaining traces have assisted the numerous attempts at the clarification of form. In scholarly disciplines dedicated to physical form, such as archaeology and art history, the process of constructing chronologies based on form itself has largely been completed, and an understanding has been reached of the vicissitudes of form. And yet, such methodologies have their limitations, so today attention has turned to the motives and usage patterns that make up the background of these forms.

  The flip side, however, of the rich successes of such new research focus lies in the tendency to abandon the very issues of form as such. Thus, this symposium seeks to build on the scholarly results to date, and then return once again to the question of form itself. Surely, by focusing on form and aiming at an understanding of its characteristics, considerable discoveries can be made aspects of human endeavor not evinced from textual materials. All manner of connections appear from such examination, whether object-to-object relationships that can only be understood through form, connections person-to-person, and or those linking object, person and place. Turning our attention once again to the power of form. With these aims in mind, the question now arises, how do we make form itself the nexus of discussion, the research theme itself.

  This symposium is an experiment in bringing together and debating the methodologies of the various disciplines involved with form, such as art history, archaeology, architectural history and history of the performing arts. We hope to pursue the power of form itself as we seek common ground for the discussion and discovery of open and effective approaches to form.

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