How has art and creative activity contributed to confronting crises in Asia? While we face the current pandemic, along with deep social, political, and economic challenges, perhaps we can take heart in artists’ creative responses to violent conflict, environmental change, and panic. Five talks look into understanding, recovery, and reform in Japan, China, Armenia, Bangladesh, and Java, Indonesia.
This program is currently offered as a $5 suggested donation, to keep it accessible for all. Normally, tickets are $7 for SAM members, $12 for public. Donate today to support museum programming.
Fires and Renewal in Edo Period Japan
Timon Screech, University of London
Japanese architecture is traditionally built from wood, as this volcanic archipelago has no stone suitable for building. Besides, masonry construction was not safe in this earthquake-prone environment anyway, as falling stones would be fatal to anyone inside. Its wooden architecture falls in such a way that survival can be possible. Some very old buildings built with extremely durable timber still exist, with sections replaced in their original forms when necessary. But the great enemy is fire: when earthquakes overturn stoves and braziers, fires follow and at times destroyed entire cities.
The calamity of fires in Japan's early-modern Edo Period (1603-1868) led to large-scale rebuilding afterwards. This talk will present examples of artworks intended to retard fire, survivors of fires, or items made after conflagrations, as well as looking at fire prevention in urban planning. Obliteration and rebirth were horrendous, but they became cycles in Japanese culture and consciousness.
About the Presenter
is Professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He completed his PH.D in Art History at Harvard University, and has been at SOAS since graduation. His major study of the arts of the early-modern period, Obtaining Images, Art, Production and Display in Edo Japan, was published in 2012. His book Tokyo before Tokyo: Power and Magic in the Shogun’s City of Edo
was published in 2020.
OTHER LECTURES IN THIS SERIES
FRI FEB 5
Fire and Renewal in Edo Period Japan
SAT FEB 13
Big Writing and the End of the Law
SAT FEB 20
The Missing Pages, from Genocide to Justice
SAT FEB 27
Jomin o Joban, a Tale of the Land
SAT MAR 6
Exploring Resilience in Dance in Java, Indonesia
QUESTIONS? CONTACT US
This program is currently offered on a pay-as-you-will basis, to keep it accessible for all. Normally, tickets are $7 for SAM members, $12 for others. Any amount you donate will help the museum continue its programming. https://secure.seattleartmuseum.org/donate/i/sam-fund?amount=5 (if it is your first time to use the system, you will be asked to create a password—but it won’t take long!)