The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art



With the support of the The Power Institute Foundation for Art & Visual Culture and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art we invite proposals for participation in ‘Asian Art Research in Australia and New Zealand: Past, Present, Future’.

Key dates:

  • Submissions due: 30 May 2015
  • Workshop: 15–16 October 2015

Since at least the 1940s, Asia has become an increasingly important point of orientation for Australia and New Zealand: politically, economically, demographically, and, of course, culturally. The market for Asian art, both contemporary and historic, has become even stronger, and collections of global stature are found in numerous Australian and New Zealand institutions. Asian contemporary art has rapidly developed in the age of recurring international exhibitions, among which the Sydney Biennale, Brisbane’s Asia-Pacific Triennial, and the Auckland Triennial each have pioneering legacies. Moreover, Asian-Australian and Asian-New Zealand art professionals have played vital and particular roles in shaping the discourse around, reception of and engagement with art from Asia in this region, engagements that have come to form part of the unique cultural fabric of our respective societies. In this context, there is strong public interest in Asian art, sustaining dedicated galleries, significant original exhibitions, specialist organisations, arts festivals and numerous exchange programmes.

Nonetheless, the study of Asian art in Australia and New Zealand appears stubbornly diffuse. Australia and New Zealand boast successive generations of specialists working as educators, curators, researchers, artists and ever-growing numbers of students, yet we often remain separated by discipline, geography, institutional structures, and the variable resources that characterise local museum and library collections. In one sense, the study of Asian art in this context is doubly marginalised: despite the centrality of Asia and Asian art in our region, our institutions of art history in many regards see ‘their’ history as originating in Europe or North America, and extend their interest to cultures and practices outside these traditions only by way of comparison or contrast. Yet, in many respects, the particular contexts of Australia and New Zealand have given rise to theoretical and methodological approaches to scholarly and curatorial practice that are quite distinct from, and arguably more progressive than those of the Euro-American ‘centres’ of the field.

This project seeks to bring together scholars and curators from across institutions, fields, and practices to better understand the particular historical developments that have come to constitute the study of Asian art in Australia and New Zealand. Together, participants will investigate the historiography of Asian art in Australia and New Zealand and assess our achievements and the current state of the field, so as to better consider future directions. The conveners welcome proposals for papers addressing the practice of Asian art studies in Australia and New Zealand, past and present. Possible areas of interest might include (but are not limited to):

* Histories of collecting, including the formation of key collections of Asian art and their legacies in scholarship, practice and reception;

* Institutional histories, such as universities, museums, galleries, art schools;

* Histories of philanthropy, patronage, connoisseurship, and amateur study;

* Histories of training and education in the field of Asian art;

* Biographical studies of artists, art historians, curators, collectors and other facilitator-supporters (e.g. diplomats, art patrons, donors, etc.)—active either locally or abroad;

* Inquiries into the role of institutional structures in shaping discourses, including the ‘Art Gallery’ model, museum departments of International art, and the place of art history in the Australian and New Zealand academy;

* Theoretical or conceptual engagement with Asian art as a field of study or discourse, including interactions between Asian and Indigenous or Pacific cultures, for example, or in the broader discourse of national cultural politics and policy;

* The roles of Asian-Australian and Asian-New Zealand agents in these histories and practices. [my emphasis – TK]

The workshop will be held 15–16 October 2015 at the University of Sydney, with revised papers to be published as a themed issue of The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art (Issue 2, 2016). Travel subsidies to defray the costs of participation will be available to accepted participants.

Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a CV of no more than two pages and a brief cover letter. Submissions via email to the organisers are due by 30 May 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by 13 June 2015. Participants will be asked to circulate their draft paper by 3 October in preparation for a 20-minute public presentation in Sydney. Revised papers of 5,000–7,000 words (inclusive of notes) will be due to the organisers and the Journal by early January 2016 for peer review; final versions of papers accepted for publication will be due in early May 2016, for publication in December of that year.

Key dates: 

  • Submissions due: 30 May 2015
  • Workshop: 15–16 October 2015

Click here for further information and submission details.

Event Organisers:

The event is supported by: