IIAS lecture

The Complexity and Structure of Modern & Contemporary Art History in Asia

A lecture by Nobuo Takamori, Curator at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan.

Lecture: 11:00 - 11:45
Q&A: 11:45 - 12:15

The narratives of local art histories in East and Southeast Asia are divided by national boundaries and shaped deeply by colonisation, cold war structures and globalisation/global-liberalism. The forms of modern and contemporary art histories are juxtapositions of a series of national narratives without consideration of their integration with each other, although these national narratives follow similar structures and models: the pioneer artists who travel back from their enlightened journeys in Europe, the struggle between Western and local traditions, and the heroic narratives of great success in international events. These art history narratives reflect the historical progress of Asian countries and the self-consciousness of their identities and self-depictions. Most of the time, the arguments and questions of the basic definition of art also play an important part in these narratives.

Today, the globalised contemporary art scene evokes the imagination of “Asian Art”. However, the presentations of contemporary Asian art from the perspective of globalisation create an isolated context without the narratives of modern Asian art histories. These phenomena create dual or multiple systems in the art scenes of Asian countries, which make the reality of Asian art scenes, and narratives of art theories/histories, become the sum of fragile collectives. The discontinuous narratives in Asian art are not only the shape of regional artistic psyches, but also the fables and difficulties of modernity in the region. 

Nobuo Takamori

A Taiwanese curator of Japanese descent, Nobuo Takamori’s curatorial practices focus on cultural, historical and interdisciplinary experiences through contemporary art, which emphasize the importance of cross-boundary practices and reflection of Asian culture. As the curator of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Takamori works on International Curatorial Network Project of Visual Arts, which assigned by National Culture and Arts Foundation. He was the committee member of Southeast Asia Affair in the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan) since 2015 to 2016. Takamori has been curated several international exhibitions in Taiwan, Vietnam, Germany and Mexico. Such as “Post-Actitud” (2011, Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico DF), “South country, South of Country” (2012, Zero Station, Ho Chi Minh City & Howl Space, Tainan), Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition 2014 “The Return of Ghosts” (Hong Gah Museum, Taipei) and “Blue Bird in the Labyrinth: A Walk from Japanese Modern Art to Asia Contemporary Art Scene” (2016, Galerie Nichido Taipei). He is also a writer which contributed several essay and critic for national and international magazines and journals.


If you would like to attend this lecture, please register by sending an email to: h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl