RAM Talk: Book Sharing: In Praise of Shadows
Jul 15, 2017 Saturday 19:30 - 21:00
Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road, Huang Pu District)
Tea-ceremony rooms, ware lacquer works, miso soup, Japanese paper and Noh performance with bonfire are depicted by Japanese literary titan Junichiro Tanizaki using beautiful and elegant words in the In Praise of Shadows, showing the slim and delicate aesthetics deeply rooted in traditional Japanese life, and the beauty in shadow from the perspectives of buildings, food, clothing and so on. In shadows, human senses are reactivated to feel the beauty of external world with weakened sense of sight but stronger senses of hearing, touch and smell.
Tanizaki started thinking of the implication of beauty since his short story, The Tatooer. He tried to discover the influence of vision on aesthetics and the tension of beauty expressed by bodies. The In Praise of Shadows was published in 1933 when his understandings of aesthetics were changing. At that time, he began to translate the classic work of Japanese literature The Tale of Genji. Inspired by the traditional Japanese aesthetics present in the book, he had created a series of works known for “obstruction of vision”, including the Shunkinsho. The aesthetics of shadows is a rediscovery of tradition, and has challenged the widespread modern western aesthetics with the sense of sight as its core and established the subjectivity of oriental aesthetics, exerting a profound influence onJapan’s modern and contemporary art, architecture, and fashion design.
Dr. Zou Bo, Director and Associate Professor of the Department of Japanese Language and Literature at Fudan University. He specializes in modern and contemporary Japanese literature and exchange history of literature between China and Japan in modern times. His recent research focuses on the connections between modern Japanese literature and visual studies.
Free admission, reservation is required.