Yan Yang, April 20

The recording of this event could be found HERE

Speaker: Yan Yang 

(Assistant Professor of Art History, Music and Art, Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY)

“Tracing the Formation of a National Style: Yamato-e from World Fairs to Wartimes”

Discussant: Minori Egashira (PhD Candidate, Art History, UChicago)

April 20th, 2022 (Wednesday), 4:45 – 6:45 pm CT, Remotely via Zoom 


Please use this link to register for the zoom meeting. The password to this zoom session is “yamatoe


Tale of Genji Picture Scroll, Sekiya Chapter. 12th century. Tokugawa Art Museum

Abstract: How does a national style come into existence? Does it form through a consensus by a panel of experts or in some other way? Although yamato-e has been characterized as a national style of Japanese art since the 1930s by Japanese art historians, what led to this codification? This presentation examines primary sources produced before the 1930s, from government-sponsored exhibitions intended to teach a foreign audience about Japanese culture at World Fairs, to Japanese texts about surviving works of art that are celebrated as extant examples of yamato-e such as the Tale of Genji Picture Scrolls, in order to trace the formation of yamato-e as the pictorial embodiment of the Japanese national style.

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Yan Yang received her B.A and Ph.D degrees from Yale University. After teaching at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and at Kyushu University in Japan, she is currently at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. Her primary field of interest in Japanese art historiography and epistemology. She has published on the 20th-century codification of the concept of Japanese art known as yamato-e. This presentation is an extension of a larger project that explores the formation of yamato-e before the 20th century.

Minori Egashira is a PhD candidate studying under Dr. Chelsea Foxwell at The University of Chicago. Her research focuses on Meiji-period (1868–1912) sculpture, and Japan’s artistic interactions with the world in modern and contemporary times. Her broader interests include East Asian sculptural art and other three-dimensional objects, World Fairs, and investigating non-orthodox narratives of Japanese art history.

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