During this fieldtgrip we will focus on artefacts related to the lecture and seminar taught by Ishibashi Foundation Visiting Professors, NAMIKI Seishi and M. Trede. Narrative handscrolls, genre painting, but also Japanese design on threedimensional surfaces of various times will be our focus.

Next to permanent exhibitions of the most well-known museums and institutions in our field (see below), we are currently planning to get special viewings of artefacts in storage. In the planning are also visits to special exhibitions and possibly free time to roam other art spaces in Paris. A joint evening with students of Japanese/East Asian art history is planned, too, along with a special lecture by Prof. Namiki Seishi.


Im Wintersemester 2017/18 veranstalten wir durch finanzielle Unterstützung der IKO-Fachschaft eine dreitägige Exkursion nach Köln.

Diese Exkursion bietet die einmalige Gelegenheit, Originale wie Lack, Porzellan, Malerei, Textilien und Tibetica zu begutachten und Einschätzung von Experten zu erfahren. Außerdem können Sie einen seltenen Einblick in die Restaurierungsarbeit mit ostasiatischem Lackobjekt in einem Werkstatt gewinnen, und technische wie materialrelevante Problematiken für Restauriungsarbeit in Erfahrung bringen. Anschließend besuchen wir das wiedereröffnete Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, um dort Meisterwerke japanischer Holzschnitte zu besichtigen.

Im Programm stehen: Werkstattbesuch und Workshop zu Lackarbeiten aus China und Japan von Frau B. Piert-Borgert (Lackrestauratorin); Führung durch das Auktionshaus Lempertz und ein Workshop anhand von Originalen mit Ostasien-Experten des Auktionshauses Lempertz; Sonderausstellung „Das gedruckte Bild: die Blüte der japanischen Holzschnittkultur“ am Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst.

Die Fahrt- und Übernachtungskosten werden voraussichtlich großenteils durch Zuschüsse der Universität gedeckt.


Based on analyses of the handscroll „Shuhanron emaki“ (“Dispute over sake and rice”), of the sixteenth century, one can assert that this artwork marks a huge turning point in Japanese painting history. It marks the transition from an „ age of handscrolls“ to an „ age of genre paintings“. Specifically, the subjects of debate in this seminar include the relation between text and paintings of the handscroll format, the depiction of genre paintings of that time, the normativity of Kanô-School paintings, and the significance of creating copies.

This seminar focuses on transcultural phenomena of Japanese design from the early modern period to the 21st century and explore the lives of 'design' patterns, philosophies, shifting connotations and strategies in their interrelationship between Japan and the rest of the world. In the course of the seminar, we will closely examine the materialities, decoration styles, forms, motif patterns, and the underlining design philosophies of Japanese crafts/design and how they were negotiated outside Japan (and the other way round), and explore their socio-cultural, political or aesthetic contexts and implications. While the target group is mostly Japanese crafts, fashion and product design, we also look at non-Japanese examples that conceptually or aesthetically engage with design models from Japan.

Possible topics (but not exclusive: your own topic suggestions are welcome) are:

Export Lacquer, South Asian Textile in Edo Period, Japonsche Rokken, Tea Culture, Export Porcelain, Christopher Dresser, Art Nouveau, Bruno Taut, Bauhaus, Mingei, Isamu Noguchi, Yohji Yamamoto, shibori-Batic in Africa, Hello Kitty.


This block seminar takes as its subjects two critical topics in the History of Art, Mimesis—the imitation of appearance often linked to nature and Appropriation or Uses of the Past––culturally bound likenesses that evoke tradition. We will explore these concepts from a variety of methodological angles using a range of objects (from East Asian to European art). Examples and short, motivating essays, which will form the focus of discussion, will be from the “Notes from the Field” series in the Art Bulletin, published in 2011 and 2012 [The Art Bulletin, 94 (2)]


Paradisiacal notions are cross-cultural and claimed a particular importance in China’s visual and material cultures. This seminar will survey the formation, transformation and multiple dimensions of the concept of paradise in Chinese art by examining a wide range of its visual and material representations from the Bronze Age to the pre-modern period. Special attention will be paid to its forms in early funerary art (Shang royal tombs, Mawangdui, Eastern Han family shrines, Tang-Song imperial tombs), Taoist-Buddhist pictorial representations/ narratives, ritual architecture, and garden spaces owned by social elites.

The seminar, part one of two, explores how photography became a tool of surveillance in and of China from the mid-nineteenth century (second Opium War) to the Boxer Rebellion. Monuments and imperial residences, abandoned during periods of war, were occupied by foreign forces and extensively photographed contributing to an international image of empire. In the 1860-1900 phase, these photographs largely circulated outside of China. (Phase 2 concerns 1900-1945 and will be offered in SoSe 2018).  These images were part of larger global transformation of China on the world stage from an object of fascination—an idealized land in eighteenthcentury European philosophy, prints and drawings––to a site of ridicule in a discursive and physical battlefield. Photography had been introduced in China with British imperial expansion during the first Opium War (1839-1842). The unequal reception of photography in nineteenthcentury China, which accompanied unequal treaties, suggests that photography was a revolutionary medium not simply leading to forms of curiosity and representation, but a tool of the colonial gaze linked to hierarchy and surveillance. Methodologically links between colonialism and photography are well established; e.g., the work of Italian-British photographer Felice Beato (1832-1909) who was imbedded with Anglo-French troops as forces moved up the coast from Hong Kong, to Canton, Tianjin, and Beijing in 1860. What will concern us is the continued obsession of military and amateur photographers who documented spaces that were the sites of increasingly violent conflicts; these proliferated during the Boxer Rebellion (ca. 1900). In European-American discourse and visual culture, China is in an era of stagnation while many local Chinese and Manchu writers and photographers highlight this same period as one filled with new cultural and artistic practices linked to modernity. Course materials include extensive newly discovered archival data.


This course covers an exciting period in Chinese painting from the 7th century to the 13th centuries when the court, temples, and a growing number of individual connoisseurs patronized the arts. Developments addressed include: figure painting, the rise of landscape painting, the emergence of a literary class and avant-garde painting, a great range of theories about painting expression, and the importance of Buddhist mural production in the professionalization of the artist.

Compared to other cities in Japan, Kyoto in Modernity is defined through its distinctive features. The reasons are on the one hand the continuity of traditional arts and crafts such as ceramics in the Kyoto-style (kyôyaki) and Nishijin- brocade weaving, but on the other hand the fear of descending into obscurity after the transition of the emperor's residence to Tokyo. Next to topics such as the ones above, this lecture will discuss aspects such as the reaction of the arts and crafts in Kyoto vis-à-vis modernity, the introduction of mechanical techniques and chemical materials, and answers to oversea-markets.