This panel - part of the conference 'Art, Materiality and Representation' - aims at defining museums of Asian arts outside Asia as cultural expressions of representations of the Other. Mapping the collections and tracing their histories and development, it will be possible to unravel the identity of these institutions and the notions of 'Asia' emerging from them.


Convenor: Iside Carbone (Royal Anthropological Institute, London)

Session 1 (9.00-10.30)

Collecting karamono kodō 唐物古銅in Meiji Japan: the image of China through the archaistic Chinese bronzes of the Chiossone Museum, Genoa, Italy
Donatella Failla ('Edoardo Chiossone' Museum of Japanese Art, Genoa)

  • Acheter un petit chinois: The Jesuit Museum of Chinese Art in Québec Karen Tam (artist, Montreal)
  • Korean Gardens outside of Korea: The (Re)Construction of National Cultural Identity?: Maria Sobotka (Free University of Berlin/Peking University)
  • Defining Asia’s cultural matrix?: Chiara Formichi (Cornell University)
  • Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum: a platform for the conservation, exchange, performance and promotion of living Asian puppet theatre traditions: Robin Ruizendaal (Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum)

Session 2 (11.00-12.30)

  • Challenging the framing of 'Asia' and the role of the VVAK (Dutch Asian Art Society). The Asian Pavilion at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: Annette Loeseke (New York University, Berlin)
  • Saving Asia: The Past and Present of Asian Art Objects in Western MuseumsHarnoor Bhangu (University of Winnipeg)
  • Imagining the ‘Orient’ in early 20th century Canada - The Asian Arts Collections of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Laura Vigo (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts)
  • Museo Nacional de Arte Oriental in Buenos Aires: a derivation of European taste for anything Oriental or genuine interest in the East? Florencia Rodriguez Giavarini (Universidad del Salvador)

Roundtable discussion: Asian identity/ies and cultural representations through museum collections and modes of display

Session 3 (14.30-16.00)

  • Chinese Money Matters – so why does it have such a low profile?: Helen Wang (British Museum)
  • 'Seek knowledge even as far as China': The founding of the Oriental Museum, Durham University: Gillian Ramsay (Durham University)
  • Orient Museum Collections. Polysemy reduction and metonymic overuse: Sofia Campos Lopes (Fundação Oriente, Lisbon)
  • Rethinking Asian Museums in Italy: Marco Biscione (Museum of Oriental Art, Turin)

Session 4 (16.30-18.00)

  • Japan in Venice: The Collection of the Oriental Art Museum in Venice: Marta Boscolo Marchi (Oriental Art Museum, Venice)
  • The Museum of Asian Art in Berlin: From Prussian Heritage to World Museum: Regina Hoefer (Bonn University)
  • The Museums of the Far East and the Asian collections of the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels: Nathalie Vandeperre (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels)
  • Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw - the new beginning and challenges: Maria Szymanska-Ilnata (Asia and Pacific Museum, Warsaw)

Roundtable discussion
Museums of Asian arts: challenges, changes and ways forward