A Suggestion Toward the Visual-Oriented Humanities: In Case of Japanese Aesthetics in Painting

By:
Prof. Masahiro Hamashita
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Though historically influenced mostly by Chinese and European cultures, Japanese aesthetics in terms of painting may show a good example for the possibility to construct the humanities through pictures in the contemporary visually-dominated age. In contrast to theory-oriented painting in China and Europe, while Chinese painters were requested to represent ‘qi’ (spirit) of nature and European to imitate nature, Japanese painters seem not to have been obsessed by theoretical meaning of pictures. Instead, they only enjoyed and exerted their ability to creating a frame or images of pictures, producing the dimension of a picture. Thus leaving theories or wordy explanations that can supplement pictures away, history of painting in Japan has developed, producing Ukiyoe in modernity and Manga in post-modernity. The traditional, authentic humanities consist in verbal thinking and discourses, but, considering contemporary culture all over the world as a result of ocular centrism and being disgusted by affluent discourses in many ways, we can take notice of Japanese aesthetics of painting, which could suggest a new way to the humanities.


Keywords: The Humanities Through Pictures, Visually-oriented Culture, Japanese Aesthetics in Painting
Stream: Aesthetics, Design
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Masahiro Hamashita

Professor, Department of Intercultural Studies, the Faculty of Literature, Kobe College
Nishinomiya, Japan

Born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1946, Masahiro Hamashita is currently Professor of aesthetics at Kobe College and also Director of the library. Graduate of Tokyo University, he has specialized in modern European aesthetics, in particular, the eighteenth-century British aesthetics from Shaftsbury to Thomas Reid. He has extended his research interest to Japanese and East-Asian aesthetics, founding the Japan-Korea Aesthetic Studies Society in 1990. He is focusing on the Japanese intellectuals’ dilemma who learned and appropriated western culture with the Asian traditional disciplines. He published books including (in Japanese), and articles in English: “Taste and Novelty from the Viewpoint of Modernity in Japan”, “The Word, the Image and the Humanities” and others.

Ref: H06P0534