Speaker: Professor Hans Bjarne Thomsen (Section for East Asian Art, University of Zurich)
About the Talk:
The main focus of my talk is to show how art responds to disasters. Japan has been exposed to all kinds of disasters over the past centuries, including earthquakes, tsunamis, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, catastrophic fires, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, world wars, and so on. I would like to explore how Japanese artists have responded to such events and how art can sometimes dramatize catastrophes, make them easy to digest, filter them through humor and other emotions, and even help heal trauma and pain. Over the centuries and into the present, Japanese artists have responded by creating a wide range of innovative solutions for dealing with disasters.