VISASIA LECTURE SERIES: VISUALISING THE EVERYDAY IN ASIAN ART
Tuesdays in October, 12pm
The directors of VisAsia are delighted to announce a series of four lectures to be held though October on each Tuesday beginning at 12.00 noon. The lectures are a joint initiative between VisAsia and Sydney University and we are particularly grateful to Professor Jeffrey Riegel, Head of the University’s China Studies Centre, who has chosen the guest lecturers from amongst his colleagues specialising in diverse disciplines covering art, Asian studies and history.
VisAsia’s focus is on education and furthering an understanding of the countries of Asia through art. We hope that our members and others interested in Asia will find the midday time slot a convenient one and that these lectures are both stimulating and help them broaden and deepen their knowledge of Asia.
UNDER THE RAINBOW BRIDGE: COMMERCE AND URBAN LIFE IN CHINESE VISUAL CULTURE
4 October 2016, 12pm
Perhaps the single most famous vignette in all of Chinese painting is the arching bridge spanning the Bian Canal that first appears in Zhang Zeduan’s early twelfth-century masterpiece, Going Upriver at Qingming Time. Staging the idealized vigour of life in the Northern Song capital of Bianjing, the bridge – and the scenes that extend in either direction from it – may be read as expressing the glory of the Song dynasty at its height. Taking the rainbow bridge as its point of departure, this talk explores images of urban life from Qingming to contemporary prints. In particular, it focuses on images of commerce, wealth, and poverty to understand the ways in which scenes of everyday life reflect the changing terms of urban and political cultures in China.
THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE QUOTIDIAN IN MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY INDONESIAN ART
Professor Adrian Vickers
11 October 2016, 12pm
When the Indonesian Communist Party was wiped out in 1965, social reality became a forbidden topic in art. While commentators have often assumed that Cold War authoritarianism promoted only abstraction, figurative art has remained the basis of modern and contemporary art in Indonesia. Themes of everyday life appear in different guises: as expressions of desire, as ironic commentaries, and as expressions of the fantastic within the quotidian. Through examining the works of artists such as Hendra Gunawan, Lucia Hartini and Mangu Putra, this lecture looks at how the Indonesian mundane is filled with rich layers of imagery and feeling.
OBSERVING THE EVERYDAY SUBJECT IN INDIAN ART
18 October 2016, 12pm
Far from the familiar gods, goddesses and heroes featured in India’s great art traditions are the creations of sundry craftspeople - weavers, embroiderers, potters, metal, wood and papier-mâché workers, painters and stone masons. Their work differently celebrates subjects that are an intimate part of their daily lives and derives from that world.
The social, religious and environmental background of these artists are as diverse as their subject matter and the media they use to tell their stories about their everyday world and to depict their world outlook. From women’s painting on paper in north India, embroidery in west India and tribal painting on hut walls in central India, this talk will examine commonality and diversity in the representation of the everyday subject across India’s geographies, castes, religions, languages and tribes.
MANGA BETWEEN ART AND EVERYDAY LIFE
25 October 2016, 12pm
One distinctive feature of manga, Japanese comics, is that it is on average more visually complex and rich in detail than Euro-American comics and graphic novels. In recent years their visual sophistication has brought Japanese comics closer to the realm of high art. Thus for instance, since the 1990s, it has become increasingly common for popular manga authors to publish expensive colour editions of artwork to present their works at exhibitions in museums in Japan and overseas.
Another fascinating effect of the visual complexity of manga drawings is the widespread presence of objects and places from everyday life in the images with authors often drawing lavishly detailed backgrounds for the sake of their readers’ aesthetic appreciation. As a result, manga are also a precious document on material culture and everyday cultural practices.
This talk will show how Japanese comics bring together visual art and everyday life in a distinctive and thought-provoking way through a survey of a variety of examples from historical and contemporary manga.
Stephen Whiteman is Lecturer in Asian art in the Department of Art History and Associate Curator for China Projects at the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney. He holds his PhD in Art History from Stanford University. A specialist in early modern Chinese visual culture and landscape history, his first book, Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints, co-authored with Richard E Strassberg, was publisehd by Dumbarton Oaks in 2016. He is most recently co-author and co-curator of Floating Time: Chinese prints, 1954-2002 (University of Sydney Art Gallery and Power Publications, 2016).
Professor Adrian Vickers holds a personal chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Sydney, where he is director of Asian Studies. His publications include Bali: A Paradise Created); A History of Modern Indonesia; Balinese Art: Paintings and Drawing of Bali (2012), and, with Julia Martìnez, The Pearl Frontier: Labor Mobility across the Australian-Indonesian Maritime Zone. He has held a series of Australian Research Council grants looking at the writing of Indonesian history, the Cold War, and labour and industry in Southeast Asia. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge and the Cambridge University Joint Centre for History and Economics; Senior Visiting Fellow at the Asia Research Centre at the National University of Singapore; and a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology, Leiden. He has previously taught at the University of Wollongong and the University of New South Wales.
Jim Masselos is an Honorary Reader in History at the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney where he lectured for many years on Indian history. He has been involved as co-curator in exhibitions at the Art Gallery of NSW and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney. He is co-author of Beato’s Delhi; 1857 and Beyond, is co-editor of Dancing to the Flute: Dance and Music in Indian Art, editor of The Great Empires of Asia, and author of Indian Nationalism: an History, as well as other books, catalogues and many articles.
Rebecca Suter is senior lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney. Her main research interests are in modern Japanese literature and popular culture, with a cross-cultural focus. She is the author of The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States and Holy Ghosts: the Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction. Her most recent book, Rewriting History in Manga: Stories for the Nation (2016), co-edited with Dr. Nissim Otmazgin, looks at the ways in which Japanese comics engage with history, both as documentary sources, and as places of creative and critical reflection on politics and society. She is also active as a translator of manga, and has translated works by Shinohara Chie, Anno Moyoko, Miuchi Suzue, Asano Inio, Kitoh Mohiro, Katayama Kyoichi, Matsumoto Taiyô, and Unita Yumi, among others.