The Mingei (Japanese folkcrafts) movement is arguably the most influential modern craft/design movement in modern Japan, and has been influential on the studio craft philosophy in the West, in particular in the UK, through Bernard Leach’s adaptation. Nevertheless, Mingei studies in the past have tended to be largely uncritical and have often focused on the uniqueness of the ‘Oriental’ aesthetic philosophy from a very parochial perspective without any contextual reference to Japanese modernisation and colonisation.
This monograph examines the nationalist discourse of Mingei theory developed by Yanagi Sōetsu in the 1920s from post-colonial cross-cultural perspectives, and deconstructs its myth of cultural ‘authenticity’, presenting new evidence of colonial implications by utilising various Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English historical documents.
It covers the topics such as the ‘hybridity’ of Mingei theory and constructed ‘Orientalness’; the activities of the Mingei movement during the Second World War; Yanagi’s involvement in Japanese peripheries and colonies alongside colonial representations of ‘Other’; Mingei and post-war Japanese design in the context of the international ‘Good Design’ movement; and the influence of Mingei theory on the West and the cultural politics of inter-cultural representations between the East and the West.
A paperback edition of this book has also been published in May 2006.
|Type of Research:||Book|
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
My current research interest is on the issue of modernity and the discourse of cultural identities in Asian and comparative visual cultures of the non-western countries with a particular geographical focus on Japan and Taiwan. I have published a monograph 'Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism' [RoutledgeCurzon, 2004] which examined the nationalist discourse of Mingei (Japanese folkcrafts) theory developed by Yanagi Soetsu in the 1920s from the post-colonial cross-cultural perspectives. Bamboo crafts, crafts related to the modern wars (memorabilia, war fashion, substitute products) and cultural politics involved in crafts in modern Japan, and modernities in the relationship with Mexico and Japan are the subjects of the projects that I have been developing recently. I have also been conducting research on the discourse on Taiwanese identities in crafts from the Japanese colonial to the contemporary period and editing a collection of essays by nine contributors, to be published as 'Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan' (forthcoming 2007). As a Keeper of the Camberwell/ILEA Collection of Applied Arts at Camberwell College of Arts, I have also been conducting research on the nature of the collection with particular interest in the Japanese objects in the collection.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Research Centres/Networks > Transnational Art Identity and Nation (TrAIN)|
Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Colleges > Chelsea College of Art and Design
|Related Websites:||http://www.transnational.org.uk, http://www.culturalprofiles.net/japan/Directories/Japan_Cultural_Profile/-6093.html|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||07 Dec 2009 12:59|
|Last Modified:||29 Mar 2010 10:09|