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19 January 2010
Self & Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe

Self & Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe

The ASEMUS travelling exhibition in Japan


This exhibition, ‘Portraits from Asia and Europe’, asks how people in Asian and Europe have understood the self and how they have accepted each other. Shifts in such perception are something that one can trace through ‘portraits’, broadly understood, that is, in the various ways in which the human form has been figured, for example in portrait painting and sculpture, in the tools one uses in daily life, and in photography, to name only a few examples.


It is no accident that we have chosen to focus on ‘portraits’ in order to investigate this theme. They are the most direct expression of our perception of the human being. Memories of encounters between peoples, east and west—traces of the gaze cast by one person on another—surface among the works of artists known as masters, in screens of ‘southern Barbarians’ and the records of the Dutch East India Company, on Meissen porcelain and old Imari, and in the challenging work of contemporary artists. To depict a ‘person’ also seems to have been to narrate the ‘self’.


This is a travelling exhibition, which has been created through collaboration between museums and art museums in 18 countries in Asia and Europe, who are members of the Asia-Europe Museum Network. In Japan the exhibition was held simultaneously at two venues in Osaka, the National Museum of Ethnology and National Museum of Art, at one venue in Fukuoka, the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and finally, again simultaneously, at two venues in Kanagawa, the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History and the Museum of Modern Art, Hayama.

Subsequently, there are plans for it to travel to five countries in Asia and Europe. Through this collaboration, which has crossed borders between museums and art museums, Asia and Europe, it may be possible to see the outlines of a different world.
This special exhibition has been fortunate to receive support from over 100 individuals and institutions, in Japan and overseas, to whom we extend our warmest thanks.



Schedule in Japan                           


                             * National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku)
                               11 September – 25 November 2008

                             * National Museum of Art (NMAO)
                               30 September – 24 November 2008

                             * Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM)
                                6 December 2008 – 25 January 2009

                             * The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama (MMAH)
                                7 February – 29 March 2009

                             * Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History (KPMCH)
                                7 February – 29 March 2009





    National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka (Minpaku)  Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM)   National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO)



    The Museum of Modern Art, Hayama (MMAH)   Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History (KPMCH)



Schedule post-Japan                                              


                              * Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, in cooperation with the British Museum (London, UK)
                                 21 January – 27 March 2010
                              * National Museum of Far-Eastern Antiquities (Stockholm, Sweden)

                              * National Gallery (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)                                 June 2010 –
                              * National Museum of Philippine (Manila, Philippine)                      October 2010 – 




Self & Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe
In Japan


- The preparation
- The concept and challenges
How the exhibition is structured
- Chapter 1. Portraits of the Self
- Chapter 2. Before contact: imagined others
- Chapter 3. After contact: representing the other in one’s own style
- Chapter 4. The modern look: adopting the other’s style
- Chapter 5. Self & other in the  contemporary world




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