Completed PhDs

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    Alev Adil

    Completed PhD - A Poetics of Exile: the place of memory in the new media environment

    A Poetics of Exile: the place of memory in the new media environment
    Find out more about Alev Adil

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    Dr. Raphael Jay Adjani F.R.S.A FHEA

    Completed PhD - Towards a Deep Ecology of Art, Technology and Being - an ontological investigation with particular reference to the rock-cut edifices of Ellora, India, and Tadao Ando’s Water Temple.

    Raphael Jay Adjani has been working as an artist and as an academic.
    Find out more about Dr. Raphael Jay Adjani F.R.S.A FHEA

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    Voon Pow Bartlett

    Completed PhD - The relational and quotidian in contemporary urban China

    My research addresses the work of contemporary Chinese artists based in Beijing, whose work is both formed in negotiation with a global audience and influenced by a historically and culturally specific form of urban development. The tide of economic progress in China has a direct impact on daily life and continues to fuel the art world, raising issues of authenticity, authority and ownership.
    Find out more about Voon Pow Bartlett

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    Anna Basham

    Completed PhD - From Victorian to Modernist: the changing perceptions of Japanese architecture encapsulated in Wells Coates’ Japonisme

    This thesis chronicles the change in perception of Japanese architecture from the Victorian era, where it was little recognised, to its becoming an inspiration for inter-war modernist architecture and lifestyle; it aims to record how Japanese art, particularly the way in which it was displayed, underwent a similar renaissance, and the part played by architect-engineer, Wells Coates, in this reversal of opinion.
    Find out more about Anna Basham

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    Helena Capkova

    Completed PhD - Interpreting Japan : Central European Architecture and Design 1920 – 1940

    Central Europe has historically been an area with rich cultural networks and significant centres such as Prague, Berlin or Vienna. These centres were cultural melting pots with multilingual and multicultural environments accommodating a mixture of nationalities. The art conversations and exchanges there were transnational and even included non-European participants, such as the Chinese, Turkish, Indian and the Japanese. Helena`s preliminary study shows that Japan played one of the key roles as a source of inspiration for a large group of artists and theoreticians who took active part in international discourses.
    Helena`s PhD. research focuses on the perception of Japanese art and aesthetics in Central Europe and on the incorporation of that perception in architecture and design during the period of 1920 – 1940. For this study the area of Central Europe covers mainly Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria. Her aim is to investigate the nature of the transnational dialogue between different cultures such as Japan and Central Europe and to examine the dynamics of its communication Also, the analysis of how the perception of Japanese art and aesthetics of the period was interpreted or translated into the architecture and design is included in this research. Helena`s PhD. project was recently awarded a full AHRC funding (2008 – 2011).
    Find out more about Helena Capkova

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    Maria Christoforatou

    Completed PhD

    Narratives of Home and Displacement in Contemporary Art Practice
    Find out more about Maria Christoforatou

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    Shu-fang Huang

    Completed PhD - The Traces of a Traveller, Textile-Based Narrative

    This research project is designed through the use of a metaphorical ‘traveller’, to record the readings of environment and the ‘traces’ of a traveller’s observations. It starts from the author’s own cultural context, and then crosses through the journey into a new cultural vision. By searching for clarification in fragmented thoughts and in exploring the concept of ‘the traces of a traveller’, the textile based narrative will be constructed through the shifting traces in the artist’s memories and her visual reading of the environment whilst travelling. Other travellers such as the Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō, Richard Long and Hamish Fulton will be discussed.
    Find out more about Shu-fang Huang

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    Cindy Lisica

    Completed PhD - Beyond Consumption: The Art, Merchandise and Global Impact of Takashi Murakami and a Superflat Generation

    My research examines Superflat art and theory, conceived by Takashi Murakami (b. Tokyo, 1962), as a model for cross-cultural exchange via artists Chiho Aoshima, Takashi Murakami and Aya Takano. By merging Japanese and Western cultural concepts, the synthesis of ideas and layering of identities have produced a new form of hybrid and hyper Pop art. This investigation links Superflat to the work of American Pop and neo-Pop artists Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons and explores how Superflat art functions within and contributes to the already distorted area between parallel structures, such as high and low, art and commerce, or East and West.
    Find out more about Cindy Lisica

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    Ope Lori

    Completed PhD

    Image Making and the Oppositional Gaze: Re- Visualizing Western Representations of Race and Gender in the Female Body 1980 – 2010
    Find out more about Ope Lori

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    Jenny Lu

    Completed PhD - Between Homes: Examining the notion of the unheimlich in art practice and its relationship to post-colonial identity and contemporary society in Taiwan

    My research focuses on the notion of the ‘being not at home’ in relation to identity confusion, post-colonial society and artistic practice. Exploring Sigmund Freud’s concept of the ‘uncanny’ (unheimlich), I argue that in contemporary society, obtaining the feeling of ‘being at home’ is impossible, and the ‘unheimlich’ is therefore a common experience.
    I consider how artists deliver a sense of the ‘unheimlich’ in their work and how this creates feelings of unease in the viewer. I examine work produced by contemporary artists, and focus especially on artists who live in Taiwan, including Chen Chieh-jen and Wu Mali.
    Find out more about Jenny Lu

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    Piotr Splawski

    Completed PhD - AHRC Studentship for the project Forgotten Japonisme

    I was born and grew up in Poland. In 1994, I moved to London, which has been my home ever since. I studied English at the University of Gdańsk, Poland; Japanese (BA) and History of Art & Archaeology (MA) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. As part of my BA course I spent a year at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies in Japan. My MA was de facto a course in East Asian, especially Japanese, art history, whereas the final dissertation was a study of an Edo-period pictorial biography of the Zen Priest Dogen Kigen from the National Museum in Cracow, Poland. My interest in Japan, its art and Japonisme, started at SOAS, and has continued to develop.
    It was my MA supervisor Dr John Carpenter, who directed my attention to Polish Japonisme. In 2007, I was awarded the AHRC PhD Studentship attached to the TrAIN project ‘Forgotten Japonisme: The Taste for Japanese Art in Britain and the USA, 1920s-1950s’. My doctoral research, led by Prof Toshio Watanabe, Dr Yuko Kikuchi and Rebecca Salter, looks at two secondary and relatively late brands of Japonisme: American and Polish (1890-1940). A special emphasis is given to the presence and significance of a taste for Japan in the art education at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, as well as in the Japanese-inspired ‘synthetic’ approach to art pedagogy launched and practiced in the USA by Arthur Wesley Dow. Concentrating mainly on painting and graphic arts, I investigate how Japanese art and aesthetics continued to function as an inspirational force in the West beyond 1918 despite a significant shift in the political climate. Thus a secondary aim of this project is to provide an insight into the political nature of Japonisme and therefore Orientalism in general.
    Find out more about Piotr Splawski

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    Nicola Stylianou

    Completed PhD - Producing and collecting for Empire: African textiles within the V&A Museum

    Despite billing itself as “the world’s greatest museum of art and design, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity” during the nineteenth and most of the twentieth century it was the V&A’s general policy not to collect African artefacts. This was largely due to a curatorial division between objects associated with “art” and “ethnography.” During the nineteenth century African objects were seen as being of ethnographic rather than artistic interest and were therefore not actively collected by the V&A, a museum of art and design. However, a large number of objects from or relating to Africa have come into the V&A’s collection, across all departments, since the museums inception.
    Find out more about Nicola Stylianou

  • Suzana Vaz

    Completed PhD - Body/mind practices and creative process. The Japanese Gutai group and the Brazilian Post-Neoconcrete artists

    My research consists of a comparative view between the work and creative processes of two avant-garde groups, whose activity developed contemporaneously from the 1950s to the 70s. The Gutai group in Japan and Post-Neoconcrete artists in Brazil have important affinities, namely the intent to use concrete experience to access creative potency, the absence of an artistic protocol, and the insertion of avant-garde procedures into a cultural background of transpersonal references. This last aspect places the individual in a continuum of body, mind and environment, but also preserves deeply rooted practices that bond the body/mind complex to a wider field of existence.
    Find out more about Suzana Vaz