The Screen in East Asia (May 6-8, 2011)
Location: the Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago IL 60637
The folding or standing screen is a mobile partition that creates a space at the same time that it acts as a division between spaces and groups of figures. As a fixture of daily life and ceremonial culture in East Asia for more than a thousand years, the screen deserves to be considered from multiple perspectives, including those of archaeology, architecture, literature, art, history, gender, and sociology. As gifts, furnishings, and formats for painting and calligraphy, screens circulated throughout East Asia and between Asia and the West. Yet despite their position at the juncture of different regional and disciplinary perspectives, screens are rarely subjected to sustained inquiry across time and space. This may be because historically, screens were literally relegated to the background, where they functioned as supports for painting or as objects that stood behind important people and things. This symposium explores the complexity of screens as an art form in two and three dimensions, one that frames, divides and conceals and creates spaces and that is produced from a variety of media and materials.
The event is made possible by the support of the Japan Committee and the China Committee of the Center for East Asian Studies and the Franke Institute for the Humanities. We plan to publish a collection of the papers.