The 23rd GJS LectureEarth Photography from HAMAYA Hiroshi to NAKAHIRA Takuma

Date and time: June 15, 2017 (Thur.), 4:00-6:00PM
Venue: 1st Meeting Room (3rd Floor), The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
Speaker: Bert Winther-Tamaki (Professor, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine)
Language: English

Abstract: The various concepts and substances collectively designated by the Japanese word tsuchi —earth, land, soil, ground, clay, ceramics — have been continuously and deeply tinctured by their remediation in the medium of photography. How was tsuchi revealed and hidden, as well as purified and contaminated by Japanese photographers? This lecture maps a topography of Japanese earth through the works of such diverse photographers of Japan as HAMAYA Hiroshi, DOMON Ken, NAGANO Shigeichi, HANABUSA Shinzō, TŌMATSU Shōmei, and NAKAHIRA Takuma from the 1950s through the 1970s. An eco-critical approach to image theory holds the potential to bring new relevance and interpretive perspectives to some of the most iconic works of Japanese photography.

About the Lecturer: Bert Winther-Tamaki is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. Publications include “The Ligneous Aesthetic of the Postwar Sōsaku Hanga Movement and American Perspectives on the Modern Japanese Culture of Wood,” Archives of Asian Art, 66: 2 (2016); “Six Episodes of Convergence Between Indian, Japanese, and Mexican Art,” Review of Japanese Culture and Society, 26 (2014); Maximum Embodiment: Yōga, the ‘Western Painting’ of Japan, 1912-1955 (University of Hawaii Press, 2012); Art in the Encounter of Nations; Japanese and American Artists in the Early Postwar Years (University of Hawai’i Press, 2001). Winther-Tamaki is currently Visiting Research Scholar at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto working on a book about manifestations of earth, land, soil, and clay in late twentieth-century Japanese ceramics, photography, and installation art.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo
Contact: gjs[at]