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Traditions Altered: Synthesizing Past and Present in Japanese Contemporary Art

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Traditions Altered: Synthesizing Past and Present in Japanese Contemporary Art

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Thursday, March 31
1:00–3:00 p.m. PT
Speaker: Laura J. Mueller, Ph.D.


Japan’s art history is long and distinguished with its varied richness and celebrated traditions. The well-respected and admired artistic traditions of Japan can, however, be accompanied by overwhelming feelings of constraint and burden for a contemporary artist tied to its legacy. Rather than shun these seemingly restrictive artistic traditions, many of the most compelling Japanese contemporary artists working today have instead embraced them; sampling, altering, and repackaging traditions to create a dynamic, contemporary Japanese artistic identity. Utilizing both traditional and new modes of representation and media, this presentation will look at some of the most exciting Japanese artists working today and showcase how their work dramatically reflects our current global condition while addressing topics such as technology, climate crisis, and modern warfare.

Laura J. Mueller, Ph.D., is an independent curator and art advisor. She most recently served as Curator of Art at the Portland Japanese Garden until 2020 when the pandemic forced the closure of the art department. Prior to her work with the Portland Japanese Garden, she resided in New York City for more than twelve years, first as director of Joan B Mirviss Ltd Japanese Art and then leaving to establish MyCurator LLC, a firm specializing in curatorial consulting and collections management. She has published multiple exhibition catalogs of contemporary and antique Japanese art and lectured widely in the US and Japan.


Please note, this session will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

Please register by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link via confirmation email with instructions once you secure your place. Space is limited.


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Sponsored by the Asian Arts Council.

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March 31, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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