Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 10:00am to 5:00pm


Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Photography・Modernity・Japan ― 写真・モダニティ・日本

The history of photography in Japan is coterminous with that of modernity. It was during the Meiji period that photography quickly developed into one of the most important media for artistic expression and documentation in Japan. Since the “visual turn” inspired theoretical debates in the 1990s, scholars in Japanese studies have become increasingly interested in examining photography in their work. Studies in a variety of disciplines have addressed photography ’s role in nation- and empire-building, as a vehicle in ideological dissemination, as well as in enabling the development of a language of modernity. Yet as a medium, photography brings with it its own set of questions. What is a photograph, and how does it signify? What is photography’s relationship to modern notions of history? What is the nature of photographic “evidence”? Does a renewed attention to photography as a medium enable a different way to think of modernity? In addressing these questions, this workshop seeks to generate a space for the discussion of methodological questions, the articulation of doubts, and provocations.



  • Dr. David Odo (Director of Student Programs & Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives, Harvard Art Museums, USA)

  • Dr. Luke Gartlan (Senior Lecturer, School of Art History, University of St Andrews, Scotland)

  • Professor Chihiro Minato (Photographer and Professor at Tama Art University, Japan)

  • Ms. Yuri Mitsuda (Chief curator, Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Japan)


Note: Registration will be required due to limited space. Details to follow.