Refracted Modernity


Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan has developed from the international conference ‘Refracted Colonial Modernity in the Art and Design of Taiwan’ (2001: National Museum of History, Taipei). Led by Dr Yuko Kikuchi, TrAIN Senior Research Fellow, the project includes a further eight national and international participants:

Professor Chao-ching [Chaoqing] Fu (National Cheng Kung University), Dr Chia-yu Hu (National Taiwan University), Dr Kaoru Kojima (Jissen Women’s University), Ming-chu [Mingzhu] Lai (Chung-yuan University), Dr Hsin-tien Liao (Taiwan National University of Arts), Dr Naoko Shimazu (Birkbeck College, University of London), Professor Toshio Watanabe (TrAIN), Dr Chuan-ying Yen (Academia Sinica)

The Study of Taiwanese art as an independent disciplinary entity that is separate from Chinese art is a recent phenomenon. In the context of postcolonial studies Taiwan’s case is unique on account of its experience of colonization by a non-western country: Japan.

Taiwan adds different dimensions and complexities to current studies on colonialism in relation to modernity, which have been established primarily on the model of non-western countries colonized by Euroamerican countries. Modernity and identity in Taiwanese visual culture emerged in the cross-cultural complexity that Japanese colonization engendered. Their formation involves a range of interdependent cultural transfers and appropriations between Europe, Japan and Taiwan.

A collection of essays by project participants, edited by Yuko Kikuchi, was published by the University of Hawai’i Press in August 2007.

An exhibition takes place in Taipei in 2008.


Related Events

  • Refracted Modernity

    Tuesday 20 Nov, 2007,
    17:15 to 19:00

    Lecture Theatre, Chelsea College of Art & Design