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JJM I Events: Themenführungen / Thematic Tours

From the photographs of a dermatologist, to the sound of holehole-bushi to the question: Where is the art?

We are delighted to present you three thematic tours which focus on important aspects of the current exhibition A painting for the emperor.
6.3.2018, 7pm I Johann Jacobs Museum
With Christina Wild and Martin Dusinberre (EN)

Brought to Hawai’i to study leprosy, dermatologist and amateur ethnographer dr. Eduard Arning returned to Hamburg with one of the largest collections of ethnographic objects and photographs to leave the Pacific World in the 19th Century. This thematic tour will trace the fabrications, circulations, and transformations of Arning’s photographs of Japanese immigrants in the time and space between their original conception as ethnographic evidence, their transformation in Joseph D. Strong’s monumental painting, their reconception as art photography, their fabrication in the embroidery of Aiko Tezuka, and reconstruction within the exhibition space.

3.4.2018, 7pm I Johann Jacobs Museum
With Hans Bjarne Thomsen and Martin Dusinberre (EN)

A Painting for the Emperor explores the historical and artistic space between the black of coal and the white of sugar. The performance fills that space with Japanese songs from the coal mines of Kyushu (tanko-bushi) and the sugar plantations of Hawaii (holehole-bushi). The songs are wonderful musical insights into the rich tradition of folk melodies in Japan; and they are also precious traces of the daily working lives of men and women who otherwise left few records for posterity.

8.5.2018, 7pm I Johann Jacobs Museum
With Hans Bjarne Thomsen and Roger M. Buergel (DE/EN)

A surprising question, especially if asked within a museum that clearly seems to display works of art. But there is actual meaning behind this question. Until the Meiji era, Japan had no clear concept of "art" in the Western sense; this concept was apparently not needed. Looking at the works of art by Aiko Tezuka and others in this exhibition, we try to clarify questions such as “are there genuinely ‘Japanese aesthetics’ in contemporary Japanese art?”, “if so, what are the distinguishing characteristics of contemporary Japanese aesthetics?” and even “does it make sense, in an increasingly globalized world, to talk of contemporary Japanese art?”

The events are included in the general museum admission ticket (CHF 7, free admission under age 26). Further events within the exhibition will be published on our website. Public tours on Sundays at 2 pm.

In cooperation with the Chair for Global History, University of Zurich and the Chair for East Asian Art History, University of Zurich.