CSEAS/IIAS Winter School: Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asia: A Dialogue with the Arts Final Presentation Seminar
2016/01/30 @ 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
CSEAS/IIAS Winter School: Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asia: A Dialogue with the Arts
Final Presentation Seminar
日時：2016年1月30日(土) 10:30 ~ 17:00
場所：Large Hall, Rissei Elementary School
The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) has hosted a week long workshop in Kyoto. Faculty and fellows are welcome to attend on the 30th of January.
PhD students will present observations from their fieldwork in Kyoto in three groups.
All are welcome to attend. Simultaneous interpreting available (English/Japanese)
Title: Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asia: A Dialogue with the Arts
Asia is home to some of the world’s largest mega-cities whose fast-pace development is spurring considerable economic growth while reconfiguring and often unsettling social and cultural practices. Asian urban areas have become large-scale testing grounds for the re/invention of traditions and the questioning of cultural values. Cities in Asia are also subject to massive ecological challenges as for instance recurrent cases of flooding in Bangkok or Jakarta, or the recent Kathmandu earthquake.
Efforts to understand urban environments in light of future dramatic climate and economic challenges have ignited debates over issues of urban planning, privatization of public spaces and services, housing, infrastructures, urban heritage, et al, as well as their association to a linear “productivist”, growth-obsessed conception of development. The process of constant expansion and transformation of Asian cities, if a testament to the region’s economic success, also generates precarity as articulated in social fragmentations, ecological and psychological insecurities, economic poverty and other traits of “modern” alienations. Rebuilding after natural disasters, coping with environmental degradations, dealing with political and civil unrests, urban migration fluxes, and unaccountable forms of governance, have become growing concerns among Asian city dwellers.
Questions have emerged over cities’ resilience and the kind of social dialogues within their midst. How can these dialogues guide and inform their future directions? And importantly, what – social and political – role do aesthetics including artistic and architectural interventions play in imagining the present and future city? This unique IIAS-CSEAS coordinated international winter school proposes to explore the theme of “mapping the aesthetics of urban life in Asian cities” in South, Southeast and Northeast Asia by examining how the Arts can contribute to the re-conceptualization of urban spaces.
Observing the aesthetics of urban life within Asia allows us to connect with people’s perceptions of space, beauty, harmony, sound, emotional quality and comfort. All these and their opposites inform, if not govern or police, the logics of living and interacting in cities. An engagement with diverse aesthetic interventions in the context of the Asian city may help us to think about urbanity from new angles. The Arts can be used to (re-)conceptualize the intense changes sweeping over Asia’s cities. Already, there are numerous often under-studied examples of artistic interventions that have sought to visibly alter urban spaces or explicitly question concrete practices of belonging. For example, artistic flash mobs disturb the flow of the city, just as ephemeral public art practices can turn a pavement into a dance theatre. These works of art in the city should be recognized for their capacity to instill democratic values and social sharing in the public space.
As a production process, including public and performing arts, art-in-the-city draws attention to urban transformations and reconstruction. It involves communities and can challenge social harms such as poverty, rootlessness and so forth to bring about concrete social changes in Asia’s highly populated urban centers. It helps to ask the critical question: who has the right to the city, and who do not, and how can we challenge this state of things?
Sponsors: Japan Foundation Asia Center
Rissei Elementary School City Planning Committee
Kyoto Poncho City Planning Conference
NPO Kyoto Keikan Forum
Kyoto City Hall Landscape Department, Landscape Policy Planning Division
Zuizenji Temple, Pontocho
Kyoto City Arts Center
Fushimi Inari Wood Carving Narutaki Kobo
About the Seminar:
This IIAS/CSEAS Winter School is run in conjunction with the CSEAS Southeast Asian Seminar. The seminar has run since 1977 and offers a platform for graduate students and post-‐doctoral researchers to exchange ideas with young scholars outside of Japan.