The Transmission and Translation of Japanese Arts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: The Transmission and Translation of Japanese Arts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Stream: Art/Art History
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Shiu Hong Simon Tu, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (organizer, presenter)
Lok Hang Hui, University College London, United Kingdom (presenter)
Ying Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter)
Tin Shui Yeung, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan (presenter)
Yuk Man Cheung, Ritsumeikan University, Japan (discussant, chair)


Recent scholarships on the arts often emphasize on their transforming nature, tracing their adaptations across national borders, receptions and recreations between social classes, or interaction and transmutation over ideas. This calls for the attention and expertise of a wide range of disciplines, not least in humanities and social sciences. With Japan as a starting point, this panel explores several aspects of the arts, and investigates how ideas, narratives, and practices of the arts transform in accordance with the contemporary conditions. One paper presents the story of Japanese candles. Drawing from historical and ethnographic data, the paper illustrates the situation of the traditional craft being negotiated in the modern society. Another paper takes both of ethnographic and media studies approaches, demonstrating the influences of Japanese manga on Chinese girl’s comic as well as the Chinese artistic responses. Two last papers cast a complementary contrast. Both investigating on the phenomenon of Japanese art festivals and socially-engaged art, the first paper focuses on aesthetic ideas, and questions how western concepts are appropriated in the Japanese context. Based on anthropological research, the second paper of the pair introduces voices from rural residents, analyzing how their perception towards artworks is socially-circumstanced. By focusing on various aspects of arts, eventually this panel reveals the multifaceted conditions of contemporary Japan – and beyond – in flux.