Akira TAKAGISHI

Cultural Resources Studies, Associate Professor

I specialize in Japanese art history, among which my chief subjects are Medieval Japanese paintings. I examine old paintings that remain in modern times and hope to gain a grasp of the aesthetic sensitivities of the people living in the period by understanding historical documents and exploring the state of the production, techniques, expressions, orders, distribution, appreciation, collection, and evaluation of artworks in medieval society. However, the more investigation and research I conduct and the more information I acquire, the more I have come to realize that this is not an easy task for people today. Merely living in today’s world alone does not amount to an understanding of aesthetic sensitivities today, and it is thus imperative to regularly observe and understand modern art. I have found that as I continue to return for another look at medieval art from the modern perspective, my field of view has broadened, for example, to the types of events that have occurred during the modern times in between then and now, and how ancient times that preceded the medieval era were. I have recently been increasingly stimulated by exhibitions outside my field of expertise. The same applies to the discovery of Japan; it is important to visit various regions within the country and to understand Japan studies abroad. In aiming to discover, research, and leverage cultural resources, I feel that it is important to establish a foothold in multiple timeframes and regions and to polish one’s sense of distance between time and space.

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