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Invisible Chains: Woodcut Movements in Asia

This lecture by prominent art historian and chief curator of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Kuroda Raiji, draws on new research and findings from his latest exhibition Woodcut Movements in Asia 1930s–2010s to deepen the discussion on the medium across Asia.

Kuroda Raiji received his MA in Art History from the University of Tokyo. The exhibitions he curated at Fukuoka Art Museum (1985-99) and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (1999- present) include Group Kyūshū-ha (1988), Neo Dada (1993), and Collective Kumo (1997); solo exhibitions of Rasheed Araeen (1993), Han Thi Pham (1997), Lee Bul (2001), Lionel Wendt (2002), and Long Chinsan [Lang Jingshan] (2011); and most recently Blaze Carved in Darkness: Woodcut Movements in Asia 1930s-2010s (2018). He was the lead curator of The Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in 1999-2014. He is the author of Behind the Globalism: Sketches on Asian Contemporary Art 2009-2014 [Owarinaki kindai: Ajia bijutsu wo aruku 2009-2014] (Tokyo: grambooks, 2014).

What is the strength in numbers? How does personal inquiry culminate in a gathering of energy, voices and ideas? This symposium charts the evolution of artistic collectivism in Asia and its impact on the course of art and cultural history. Prominent historians, curators and art practitioners examine how unique modes of collaboration have facilitated the exchange and archival of knowledge and catalyzed social change in the region and beyond.

This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s. This exhibition investigates how experimental artists acted as catalysts for change during some of Asia’s most turbulent decades. It spotlights artistic responses to major global events such as the Cold War, and explores how artists challenged political, social and artistic conventions.

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