Current Projects

  • Afterlives of Monuments

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    South Asia is famous for its monuments, past and present. This research project has been developed through a series of international conferences and seminars, culminating in the publication of a special issue on The Afterlives of Monuments in South Asian Studies, published by Taylor and Francis as volume 29 issue 1, spring 2013. It builds on an international conference (CSM, London, 2010) funded by the British Academy, the Nehru Centre London, the India High Commission, and TrAIN, and further events will be developed later in 2013-14.
    Find out more about Afterlives of Monuments

  • The Birth of Cool

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    The Birth of Cool considers the individual and group stylepractices in different parts of the African as prisms of cultural and social commentary. Based on case studies of either complete looks or a single garment, with a daterange from the late 19th century to the 21st century, thebook considers expanded notions of place, heritage and auto/biography.
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  • Translating and Writing Modern Design Histories in East Asia for the Global World

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    This project aims to develop a network of native design historians in East Asia (Japan, Korea, PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan) led by the core members Yuko Kikuchi (PI at CCW), Wessie Ling (COI at LCF) and Yunah Lee (University of Brighton). The central concern is the re-examination of East Asian design histories from their local perspectives, as a counterpoint to prevailing Anglophone, western interpretations.
    Find out more about Translating and Writing Modern Design Histories in East Asia for the Global World

  • Russel Wright and Asia: Inter-Asia Modernities and Transnational Design History During the Cold War

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    Dr Yuko Kikuchi has been awarded the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for two years for her project work. She will investigate the influential American designer Russel Wright (1904-76) and his less well-known design projects in Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong) during the 1950s-60s at the time of the Cold War.
    Find out more about Russel Wright and Asia: Inter-Asia Modernities and Transnational Design History During the Cold War

  • Research on the Art of Maud Sulter

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    Deborah Cherry has won a Grants for Arts award from Arts Council England for the research and development of an exhibition of the work of Maud Sulter.
    Find out more about Research on the Art of Maud Sulter

  • UK-Japan lecture series ‘Tokyo Futures, 1868-2020’

    From the middle of the nineteenth century, Japan, like the rest of the world, was shaken by the transformations that followed its encounter with industry and empire. The country entered a new era, named after the Meiji emperor, and embarked on an ambitious programme of modernization, centred on Tokyo, its new capital.
    Find out more about UK-Japan lecture series ‘Tokyo Futures, 1868-2020’

  • Black Artists and Modernism (BAM)

    Black Artists and Modernism (BAM), is a three-year research project led by University of the Arts London (UAL) in partnership with Middlesex University, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). BAM will investigate the artworks of Black-British artists and the works’ relationship to modernism. The term ‘Black-British’ takes its cue from political and cultural debates of the 1980s, where people of African-Caribbean, South-East Asian and East Asian descent identified common experiences of disenfranchisement. Designed to reach a wide audience from students and academics to a more general audience for the arts, BAM will focus its attention on highlighting art-works held in major public collections and key exhibitions that have taken place in the post-war period via an online database and website. The project will look at how these cultural artefacts have been framed within the larger story of 20th century art.
    Find out more about Black Artists and Modernism (BAM)

  • Japan-India collaborative project: Gurcharan Singh and his East Asian Ceramic Collection at the Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh (2014-19)Japan-India collaborative project: Gurcharan Singh and his East Asian Ceramic Collection at the Governmen

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    Gurcharan Singh (1898-1995), known in India as ‘the father of studio pottery’ and a close friend of the British potter Bernard Leach has been little known in Japan even though he studied in Japan during 1919-22 and was involved in the formative period of the Mingei (folk crafts) movement during the Taishō period when progressive social movements and liberal art activities developed alongside the aspiration for a modern democratic nation. The project started as part of a collaborative investigation on inter-Asian modernity led by Professor Brij Tankha (Emeritus Professor, Delhi University), and Kikuchi was invited to talk about ‘Gurcharan Singh and the Transnational Mingei movement’ for the ‘India-Japan: Roads to the Modern’ in Delhi in 2014. This occasion also enabled an initial investigation of Singh’s East Asian Ceramic Collection of some 150 objects which he brought back from Japan and Korea and bequeathed to the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh. It has revealed that this collection has significant importance in relation to the Mingei (folk crafts) movement in Japan and Korea, its mediation between colonial Korea under Japan and colonial India under Britain, and its advanced technology Sign learned at Tokyo Higher Technical School. His membership in the Garakutashū (a hobbyist club involving Japanese intellectuals, financial tycoons, art collectors and international artists and architects) sharing a cosmopolitan intellectual network also sparked the interest of interdisciplinary studies involving many scholars from Japan and India including TrAIN’s former student Dr Helena Čapková (Assistant Professor, Waseda University). In 2017 as part of the second phase, a symposium ‘Asian Dialogues: Gurcharan Singh, an Indian Potter in Japan’ was organised at the Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh by the Japan Foundation New Delhi in collaboration with the Museum, to which I was invited to present a paper ‘Gurcharan Singh and the Mingei Movement’. On this occasion, the team of Japanese ceramic experts including Dr Takuya Kida (Senior Curator, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) and myself together with the team of Seema Gera (Chief Curator, Chandigarh Museum) further worked on identifying and cataloguing the collection. The third and fourth phases funded by the Japan Foundation spanning 2017-19 will see the publication of an exhibition catalogue and the travelling exhibition Gurcharan Singh and his East Asian ceramic collection in India and Japan.
    Find out more about Japan-India collaborative project: Gurcharan Singh and his East Asian Ceramic Collection at the Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh (2014-19)Japan-India collaborative project: Gurcharan Singh and his East Asian Ceramic Collection at the Governmen