Writing and Picturing in Post-1945 Asian Art

Writing and Picturing in Post-1945 Asian Art: A Three-Day Symposium at the University of Chicago

University of Chicago, April 21 – 23, 2017

Writing (?) and picturing (?) are two fundamental human activities. In East Asia, the two have traditionally been entwined, with ink and brush playing central roles. In other areas of the world, their relationship was different. In the West, writing and picturing were considered separate, while in Islamic culture, the Koran gave the art of writing special status.

In modern Asia, calligraphy provided a vital platform for exploration in modernism and its continuing developments in recent years reflect its expansion into ink art and calligraphic abstraction across Asia. In view of this recent development, the symposium Writing and Picturing proposes to survey the state of scholarship and discuss the future directions in both museological and art-historical studies. The
symposium organizers aspire to bridge the established studies of modernist art history and newly evolving contemporary art history while casting a wider geographical net beyond East Asia.

The symposium title refers to the East Asian coupling of writing and picturing (calligraphy and painting), while its subtitle indicates our intention to reexamine the cross-medial practices including their materials and tools, which have been thoroughly redefined and expanded from the ancient pair of “ink” and “brush.” Today, ink can be spray paint, digital pixels, video imagery, or even performative gestures,
while brush to apply them encompasses spray cans, computer software, the camera, the artist’s body, or any other tools deployed by contemporary artists.

By providing a platform for presentations of new researches on various practices that merge writing and picturing in postwar and contemporary art, the organizers aim to create a watershed moment for culturally dynamic rethinking of those fundamental human acts.

Friday, April 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Department of Art History, University of Chicago

Keynote Paper 1
Blackness (hei) and “Ink Images” (mo xiang)
Wu Hung, University of Chicago

Reception to follow

Saturday, April 22, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Department of Art History, University of Chicago

Keynote Paper 2
10:30 am – 11:40 am
Muscles, Flesh, Bones, and Spirit: Can Ink Be Free?
Alexandra Munroe, Guggenheim Museum

Panel 1: Media Studies
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Department of Art History, University of Chicago
Moderated by Janice Katz, Art Institute of Chicago

Undulating Letters: A Close Look at Later Persian Calligraphy
Maryam Ekhtiar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Role of Media and Photography in Connecting Postwar Japanese Calligraphy and Action Painting
Eugenia Bogdanova, Heidelberg University

Painting in Anticipation
Joan Kee, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Remediated Ink: The Debt of Modern and Contemporary Asian Ink Aesthetics to Non-Ink Media
Bert Winther-Tamaki, University of California, Irvine

Panel 2: Probing Political Dimensions
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Department of Art History, University of Chicago
Moderated by David Raskin, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Beyond Labels: Decoding Asian Letterings in Postwar Japanese Art
Yasuko Tsuchikane, The Cooper Union

Cold War Ink Painting in Taiwan
Aida Yuen Wong, Brandeis University

Decolonization and Abstraction: Anwar Jalal Shemza
Iftikhar Dadi, Cornell University

Imaging Thought, Abstracting Beauty: Calligraphic Turns after Mao
Jennifer Dorothy Lee, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Artist Presentations
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago

Painting Demonstration
Enrico Isamu ?yama
Introduced by Miwako Tezuka, PoNJA-GenKon

On Paradise Interrupted
Jennifer Wen Ma
In conversation with Reiko Tomii, PoNJA-GenKon


Sunday, April 23, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Graduate Student Workshop
10:00 am – 12:45 pm
Department of Art History, University of Chicago
Moderated by Chelsea Foxwell, University of Chicago

The Carnal Body of Ink Painting: Hasegawa Saburô’s 1950s Abstract Calligraphy
Mycah Margaret Brazelton-Braxton, Harvard University

Between Emblem and Ornament: Text in the Calligraphy, Book Design, and Architecture of Shirai Seiichi
Maki Iisaka, Texas A&M University

Avant-Garde Calligraphy as “Pure-Blood”: The Persistent Separation between Calligraphy and Painting in Postwar Japan
Akiko Mukai, Kobe University

Propaganda for a Perfect Stranger: The Image of Writing in Chos?nhwa Portraits of Lim Su-kyung (Pyongyang, 1989–1993)
Douglas Gabriel, Northwestern University

Advance Through Retreat: Yang Jiechang’s Hundred Layers of Ink (1989–1999)
Nancy P. Lin, University of Chicago

A Poetic Discourse: Fragments—The Verbal-Visual Intertextuality in Chen Zhe’s Toward Evening: Six Chapters
Tingting Xu, University of Chicago

Plenary Discussion
1:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Department of Art History, University of Chicago

Moderated by Reiko Tomii + Miwako Tezuka, PoNJA-GenKon

Discussant at Large
John Clark, University of Sydney

The symposium Writing and Picturing in Post-1945 Asian Art is presented by the Center for the Art of East Asia and Center for East Asian Studies, both at the University of Chicago, and PoNJA-GenKon.

For details, please visit

Registration: The symposium is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.
Please e-mail your name and affiliation to MailPonja[a]gmail.com.

Funding: The symposium is made possible by the generous support of the Center for the Art of East Asia and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, PoNJA Explorers, and the ISE Cultural Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Jack and Susy Wadsworth, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and SHIBUNKAKU. Special thanks to Misa Shin Gallery.

PoNJA-GenKon: Founded in 2003, PoNJA-GenKon, short for Post Ninety Forty-Five Japanese Art Discussion Group / Gendai Bijutsu Kondankai, is a scholarly list serv for those interested in postwar and contemporary Japanese art history.

The University of Chicago
Center for East Asian Studies
1155 E. 60th St.
Room 310
Chicago, IL 60637

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Cecile Laly (19 janvier 2017). Writing and Picturing in Post-1945 Asian Art. Carnet du CREOPS. Consulté le 22 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/nbti

Cecile Laly

CREOPS (Université Paris-Sorbonne), International Research Center for Japanese Studies

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