On April 23, 2018, I attended "Asia at the World’s Fairs: Opening Symposium" organized by BU Center for the Study of Asia, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. For more information on this event, please go to http://www.bu.edu/asian/2018/04/15/exhibition-opening-asia-at-the-worlds-fairs/
On April 12, Professor Noriko Murai joined Boston University and shared her insights on her recent study. For more information about this event, please find: https://www.bu.edu/asian/2018/01/02/visions-of-sound-okakura-kakuzo-john-la-farge-and-the-transsensorial-imagination/
As the high art is moving away from Greenberg’s optical experiences and aesthetics, some modern artists linked their work closer and closer to the political environment. Starting from the early 1970s, avant-garde artists were addressing a significant number of institutional and political issues that “redrew the map of art’s relation to other signifying practices in the modern world.” (Paul Wood, 2004) The Guerrilla Girls one of the groups that were formed under the strong contemporary political influence, aiming to address issues regarding gender and race. (Peter Kalb, 2013) The drift in subjectivity complied with the shift in political power and agenda; thus, works were produced as “the powerful spurs to emotion and action” during the particular periods. (MFA Museum Description) This paper analyzes how artists treat a specifically social aspect of visual experience and how they draw a tactile relationship between their work and the contemporary political environment.
Raphael, Madonna, and Child. 1503. Pen and ink. 4.49 in *5.12 in. Ashmolean Museum.
The practice of drawing was a reflective and layered process through which the artist generated ideas, deepened his understanding of a given subject or sought to heighten an expressive model. The grace and fluency of Raphael’s drawings reveal his technological skills for drawings and their variety and inventiveness bear witness to his remarkably fertile imagination. This paper explores the formal qualities of Raphael’s Madonna and Child drawings between 1503 and 1507 to understand how did Raphael’s experiences in Perugino and Florentine worked as a foundation for his artistic innovations.
Burial is a funerary practice that is not exclusively reserved by the rich or the elites in ancient Rome. They are important to the Pompeiian, bearing the spiritual and commemorative functions before the destruction of the city in 79 A.D. Even though there is little regulation regarding how certain style was restricted to certain class; this paper concludes that visitors can still identify the social and economic power of deceased, by analyzing the design and use of decoration on the exterior of the monuments. The tombs this paper examine include the tomb of Mamia, the tomb of Istacidii, the tomb of Naevoleia Tyche and the tomb of M. Porcius on the Via dei Sepolcri in Pompeii.
Throughout the Japanese Edo period, the discussion of lineage was so important that artists would take proud of the skills that styles that they followed. This built the foundation of the similarity in subjectivity, forms, styles, and techniques of artworks throughout those years. This is different for the eccentrics since their styles and techniques were so different that it is hard to identify who their teachers were.
Copying the artworks of the masters was regarded as the orthodox way of passing down the lineage of artistic techniques and skills. It made sure of the consistency of the theme and quality of the artworks that would be appreciated by the elite class, but also limited the growth of the individual styles during the Edo period. With the support of the new wealthy merchants, individual artists, like Soga Shohaku, were able to obtain sponsorships from the merchant class. This fostered the artistic innovations and artists were able to pursue new styles, techniques, and modes of representation to express themselves. In the Edo period, Shohaku was recognized as the “eccentrics,” who not only painted differently from the other schools, but also behaved in odd ways that made him unique from the rest of the society. Modern art historians categorized Shohaku as the “individual” artist whose artistic intelligence was unique on its own and did not belong to any major schools. This paper analyzes three major folding screen artworks from Shohaku around 1760s: Asahina in a Tug-of-war with a Demon (朝比奈首曳図, 1763-1764); The Four Sages of Mount Shang (商山四皓図屏風, 1768); and The Three Laughers at Tiger Ravine (虎渓三笑図屏風, 1768). These works represent Soga Shohaku’s major achievements in his artistic innovations and styles; and through analyzing these works, this paper attempts to identify the underlying characteristics of Soga Shohaku’s eccentric art and how the major art schools’ styles influenced his work.