Locating and Relocating Cultural Engagements in a Transnational Age


Author: David Bell, University of Otago College of Education, New Zealand
Email: [email protected]
Published: June 1, 2018

Citation: Bell, D. (2018). Locating and Relocating Cultural Engagements in a Transnational Age. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.5.1.05


How do the visual phenomena of Japan live in transnational communities today? How can they embrace international tropes, while retaining the distinctly local sensibilities of Yamato-e “Japanese picture”, cursive kana calligraphies, or ukiyo-e “floating world pictures”? This paper examines the apparent paradox of these questions through the divergent projects of Katsushika Hokusai, Kusama Yayoi, and Masami Teraoka. It examines the ways each has developed their own synthesis of the conventions of local and international cultural currencies. It finds, within Japan's transnational sources and relocations of visual arts, the retention of distinct (and distinctly independent) sensibilities of Yamato pasts. It also argues that the significance of their projects reaches far beyond any Japanese location, finding purchase with viewers across the globe.


Yamato-e, intercultural learning, creative practice, nationalist art, transnational art worlds