Reproduction and Appropriation in the Japanese Visual Arts Organizer: Shalmit Bejarano, Hebrew University
Chair: Hiromitsu Kobayashi, Sophia University
Chinese artifacts were traded and exchanged throughout pre-modern East Asia; their aesthetic appeal and prestige carried on by the Chinese hegemony in the region. This aura of power was further appropriated by Korean and Japanese elites who collected and displayed imported paintings as part of a larger scheme to enhance their legitimacy and grandeur as righteous rulers. Taking a transcultural perspective, this panel discusses how the visual culture of China and the identities of “Chinese” themes and artifacts underwent constant changes after their transmittance to Korea and Japan, and how their appropriation interacted with distinctive regional artistic and social settings. This topic also encompasses the social life of things, emphasizing the process of “reception” throughout time, including the complexity of cultural changes, recontextualizing symbols and images as the process of reception, modification, and refusal of social and artistic practice. Three case studies will be provided to investigate the complexity of the appropriation of Chinese objects and visual materials in Korea and Japan. Investigating diverse encounters and modes of interaction, these studies explore how visual culture was diffused, emulated, or contested in different time periods for self-fashioning, enhancing legitimacy and authority, for the celebration of contemporary events, or to comment on current social and political issues.