Urgent Talk 040: Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art
Conducted online; Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation available
The “Urgent Talks” provide a platform for discussion around artists, curators, critics, activists and others across the globe engaged in significant, innovative work that demands urgent attention.
This 40th talk commemorates the publication of Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art written by David Elliott, an independent curator and the founding director of Mori Art Museum.
During his twenty years as Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (now Modern Art Oxford) from 1976 to 1996, Elliott presented contemporary art from India, Japan, China and elsewhere in Asia, taking a leading role in curating pioneering exhibitions prior to the multicultural shift at art museums from the 1990s onward. His unconventional approach of interpreting art in tandem with political, social and cultural developments outside the west is evident throughout his subsequent stints as a museum director in Stockholm, Tokyo (Mori Art Museum), and Istanbul, and curating of international Biennales from Kiev to Sydney. It is also testament to the existence of multiple modernisms, as opposed to the non-western being merely “peripheral” to the west.
Exploring the connection between “trousers” and the masculine characteristics of modernization, westernization, and colonization, war and conquest, Art and Trousers brings together Elliott’s perspectives on the contemporary art he has encountered across a vast and incredibly diverse continent, including the art of Central Asia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Ottoman Empire, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Tibet, Turkey and Ukraine.
- Date & Time
- 18:00-19:30, Thursday, December 2, 2021
- David Elliott (Independent Curator; Former Director, Mori Art Museum)
- Katoaka Mami (Director, Mori Art Museum)
Our Requests to Viewers
- To watch the streaming, please have your computer, tablet, or smarphone ready.
- Please refrain from taking audio/video recordings or photos of the session contents.
David Elliott (born 1949 in Manchester) is a British art historian, curator, writer and teacher who has directed museums in Oxford (MoMA, 1976-1996), Stockholm (Moderna Museet, 1996-2001), Tokyo (founding director at Mori Art Museum, 2001-2006), Istanbul (Istanbul Modern, 2007) and Guangzhou (Vice Director / Senior Curator at Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, 2015-2019). He was the Artistic Director of major biennales in Sydney (2010); Kyiv (2012), Moscow (2014) and Belgrade (2016) and has taught Art History / Museum Studies at the University of Oxford (1986-1996); Tokyo University of the Arts (2002-2006); Humboldt University, Berlin (Rudolf Arnheim Professor in the History of Art, 2008); and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2008-2016). His most recent book, Art and Trousers: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Asian Art, was published by the ArtAsiaPacific Foundation in September 2021.
- Please note that contents are subject to change without prior notice.