In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi: Beijing 1930, UMMA presents a one-day symposium on the significance and legacy of the creative relationship between the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and the Chinese ink painter Qi Baishi. As Noguchi’s Peking Drawings from this period dramatically demonstrate, this collaboration was far more complex and unpredictable than can be understood by the over-determined binary framework of Japonisme in Euro-America and the Westernization of culture in East Asia. The drawings are one striking manifestation of the broad range of encounters between different positions within and beyond modern Asian visual cultures that proliferated throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This symposium will bring together an impressive group of scholars of Asian art history to explore a diverse range of inventions catalyzed by modern encounters such as that between Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi in Beijing in 1930.
Participants in the symposium include David Clarke (University of Hong Kong), Bert Winther-Tamaki (University of California, Irvine), Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker (Director of the Frye Art Museum), and Kuiyi Shen (University of California, San Diego).
8:30 am to 5 pm
8:30 – 9:30 Coffee/tea
9:30 – 9:45 Welcome remarks Joseph Rosa (Director, UMMA) Jenny Dixon (Director, The Noguchi Museum)
9:45-10:00 Introduction to the exhibition Isamu Noguchi/Qi Baishi/Beijing 1930 Natsu Oyobe (UMMA)
10:00 – 11:15 Session 1
Artistic Encounters between China and the West from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century David Clarke (University of Hong Kong) Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker (Frye Art Museum) Response by Celeste Brusati (University of Michigan)
11:15 – 11:30 break
11:30 – 12:45 Session 2
Untangling a "Hairy" Encounter: Making Sense of Ainu Representation at the World's Fair Christina Spiker (University of California – Irvine)
Artists Abroad East and West: Some Early Twentieth Century Encounters Jason Steuber (Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida) Response by Kevin Carr (University of Michigan)
12:45 – 2:30 Lunch and exhibition viewing
2:30 – 3:45 Session 3
Isamu Noguchi: A Sculptor's Brush with Ink Bert Winther-Tamaki (University of California – Irvine)
Invention of "Traditional" and "International" in Post-World War Two Japanese Ceramics: the Picasso Boom and Koyama Fujio Yasuko Tsuchikane (Parsons The New School for Design) Response by Alex Potts (University of Michigan)
3:45 – 4:15 Coffee/tea break
4:15– 5:00 Discussion moderated by Bert Winther-Tamaki
Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi: Beijing 1930 is organized by the University of Michigan Museum of Art in collaboration with The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York.
Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies and Confucius Institute and the Blakemore Foundation.