Presenter: Prof. Kuniko Abe – Akita International University, Basic Education Program and Institute for Asian Studies and Regional Collaboration (IASRC)
Akita Ranga, the first Western-influenced school of painting in Japan, is still today often seen as no more than a local cultural phenomenon of the Akita region, one providing at best anecdotal evidence of the way in which East met West. This school, however, should more properly be considered a sophisticated by-product of the Western learning brought to Japan in the eighteenth century through trading with the Dutch VOC. Two years of iconographical investigation of its artworks through the perspective of global history reveals that Akita Ranga was connected with the contemporary diffusion of natural science and its travelling images.
About the presenter:
Kuniko Abe, holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Paris-IV Sorbonne and is currently an Associate Professor of Akita International University. As an art historian, Dr. Kuniko Abe, has been engaged in revitalization of sustainable cultural heritage politics, with academic and professional qualifications obtained in France through 20 years training and working for the Department of Cultural Heritage of the French Ministry of Culture as well as the Louvre Museum. Besides Art History, she also teaches French as a foreign language.