The Past as Future in Japanese Contemporary Art

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The Past as Future in Japanese Contemporary Art


Friday Oct 14 05:30 PM


University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa, ART Auditorium

About the Lecture:

Part of programming for Imayō: Japanʻs New Traditionists

Lecture by John Carpenter, curator of Japanese Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Free and open to the public.

John Carpenter, curator of Japanese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gives a talk focused on Japanese artists working in today’s digital, globalized context who, in spite of having a nearly limitless array of visual and cultural sources to draw upon, look back to the art of Japan’s past and their own heritage for inspiration. Drawing on juxtapositions of old and new that he has tried out in The Met’s Arts of Japan Galleries, Carpenter reveals how these artists, like those represented in Imayō: Japan’s New Traditionists, are not conservative, but playful, parodic, and provocative in their use of iconic Japanese imagery and techniques. “The artists are not dwelling in the past,” Carpenter says. “They are thinking about what the future holds for Japanese culture. In this regard the contemporary artist is not only a social commentator, but also a prophet.”

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