GJS SeminarYashiro’s Details and the Problem of Place in Art History

Time: October 23, 2014 (Thu) 5:00-6:00 pm
Location: Conference Room (3rd floor), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
Speaker: Speaker: Prof. Mia M. Mochizuki
(Associate Professor of the History of Art New York University Abu Dhabi / Institute of Fine Arts, New York)
Language: English
GJS Seminar Yashiro’s Details and the Problem of Place in Art History

Like the writings of Yashiro Yukio (1890-1975), a monumental figure in Japanese art history whose earliest work examined the Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli in Morellian detail (1925), a magnificent set of Map screens, now in the collection of the Imperial Household Agency, have long complicated the notion of place in cultural interpretation straddling East and West (Fig. 1). Painted in the Jesuit workshop in Japan (c. 1583-1614) and in a customary Japanese format, these screens have primarily been considered in relation to Japanese art, despite being produced by western and western-trained artists, using western materials and pictorial sources, and guided by western aspirations under the aegis of the Society of Jesus. This paper thus proposes to rectify this lacuna by looking at the western framework for the production of this cross-cultural image via Yashiro’s methodology to see how the Map screens once more offer a critical intervention into global studies by positing an index locorum of bodily experience as analytic borderland for art historian and object alike.