CRVCCentre for Research in Visual Culture

The work of "painting" in Nineteenth-century Tokyo

Trent Building B46
Wednesday 24th April 2024 (16:00-18:00)

Speaker: Maki Fukuoka

My talk addresses the issues around the notion of painting as a descriptor. Specifically, it focuses on the emergence of discourse in visual art in mid-19th century Japan and the works that became pivotal to that discourse. What format of works is considered an equivalent of European category painting, and which aspects of the mismatches become foregrounded or disavowed in both Japanese and Anglophone attempts to construct and validate such a discourse?

In 19th-century Japan, the bundle of technologies that originated in Europe, such as oil painting, photography, and lithography, became available simultaneously, and their developments formed the constitutive aspects of the so-called "Western" pictorial styles. In this regard, historical and historiographical analyses of works by Yokoyama Matsusaburo, his students at his academy, and his business rivals play instructive roles. Their works in photography combined with oil painting, photolithography, and lithographic reproduction of calligraphy give us a way of further articulating the aspects of painting as a notional and actual category.

Maki Fukuoka works on the histories of photography and its attendant conceptual and historiographical practices. By design, her research interests are multi and trans-disciplinary, and they aim to destabilize the accepted historiographical assumptions. Her most recent publication, "Squaring Experiences with the Opening: The Case of Yokoyama Matsusaburo," appears in Reopening the Opening of Japan: Transnational Approaches to Modern Japan and the Wider World (Brill, 2023). This talk extends the findings of this chapter further to the questions of painting as a general category. She is an associate professor of history of art at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds.

This talk is the part of the CRVC’s research theme for 2023 to 2024 '…and painting continues'.

Centre for Research in Visual Culture

University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2RD