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Conference: Imperial Exposure: Early Photography and Royal Portraits Across Asia

To coincide with the Freer and Sackler exhibition POWER | PLAY China’s Empress Dowager (photographs of the Empress Dowager Cixi, dating from c.1903), the Japan Art History Forum will be holding a special conference focusing on the subject of imperial portraiture across Asia and the Middle East during the advent of photography in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

While the exhibition itself addresses the unique circumstances and intention of the Cixi photographs, the conference will provide an opportunity for a broader comparative analysis of the engagement with photography in the context of portraiture in ruling courts across Asia.

Invited speakers include:
Ali Behdad, John Clark, Deepali Dewan, Holly Edwards, Maki Fukoka, Luke Gartlan, Yi Gu, Yuhang Li, Hyung Il Pai, Maurizio Peleggi, Claire Roberts, Mary Roberts, Roberta Wue and Peng Yingchen.

Details of the conference can be found here. A full conference program and other information will be available in late summer. 

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Comment by Michael Wong on October 9, 2011 at 18:01

Conference programme including list of Speakers, registration etc can now be found here.



8:30–9 am
9–9:15 am
Opening Remarks
Session I:
Personal Agency and Self-representation
9:15–11 am
Moderator: David Hogge, Freer and Sackler Galleries

Yi Gu, University of Toronto
Prince Chun through the Lens: Negotiating Photographic Medium in Royal Image

Ying-chen Peng, University of California, Los Angeles
Lingering between Tradition and Innovation: Photographic Portraits of Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908)

Ali Behdad, University of California, Los Angeles 
Portrait Photographs: Constructions of Masculinity; Representations of Power

11–11:30 am
Session II:
Personal Manifestations of Nationhood
11:30 am–1:15 pm
Moderator: James Ulak, Freer and Sackler Galleries

Luke Gartlan, University of St. Andrews
The Reverent and the Everyday: Presenting Imperial Photographic Portraits in Meiji Japan

Hyung Il Pai, University of California, Santa Barbara
Romancing the Ruins of Imperial Antiquity: Travel Myths, Memories, and the Marketing of Heritage Destinations in Korea

Roberta Wue, University of California, Irvine
The Mandarin at Home and Abroad: Picturing Li Hongzhang (1823–1901)

1:15–3 pm
Lunch on your own
Session III:
Photographs and other media
3–4:45 pm
Moderator: Debra Diamond, Freer and Sackler Galleries

John Clark, University of Sydney
Presenting the Self: Pictorial and Photographic Discourses in Nineteenth-century Dutch Indies, Siam, and Japan

Deepali Dewan, Royal Ontario Museum, University of Toronto 
Embellished Reality: Paint and Photography in Studio Portraiture from India

Mary Roberts, University of Sydney
Ottoman Statecraft and the “Pencil of Nature”: Portrait Photography and Drawing at the Court of Sultan Abdülaziz


8:30–9 am
Session IV:
Court and Religion
9–10:45 am
Moderator: Nancy Micklewright, Freer and Sackler Galleries

Maki Fukuoka, University of Michigan
Pictorializing the Emperor

Yuhang Li, Yale University
Mimicking Guanyin through the Lens: Cixi/Guanyin Photographs

Claire Roberts, Australian National University
Chinese Imperial Portrait Photography: Reconciling Heaven and Earth

Session V:
Then and Now
11 am–12:45 pm
Moderator: Carol Huh, Freer and Sackler Galleries

Holly Edwards, Williams College
Timely Portraits: Afghan Women Then and Now

Christine Kim, Georgetown University
Portraying Korea’s Colonial Monarchy: Images of Assimilation and Modernity

Maurizio Peleggi, National University of Singapore
From Image to Icon: The Aesthetics and Politics of Thai Royal Portraiture

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