Design in Japan C and Understanding Japanese Design C 2023/2024

Curating today entails more than the organization and presentation of exhibitions and other forms of cultural communication. In a transdisciplinary and transcultural context, it is also concerned with bringing together different ways of knowing, with the relationship between art and society, and with challenging some of the assumptions on which our art institutions, museums and collections have been built on.

Design in Japan C/Understanding Japanese Design C was a studio project that introduced basic knowledge of Japanese art and design, the history of exhibitions and curatorial practice. It combined theoretical reflection with creative work and practical methods of curating. The course entailed theory and history sessions, field trips to exhibitions and discussions with curators and other practitioners related to art and design. As a final outcome, the participants collectively develop concepts for an exhibition or intervention at the Kyushu University Museum. Though the subject ended in the Autumn quarter, the participants continued to work with the museum to realize the exhibition “Objects Stand Still – Ideas Don’t” on March 3, 2024. The exhibition took the form of a guided tour that gave insights into the inner workings of the Kyushu University Museum from the viewpoints of artists and designers of the School of Design of Kyushu University. It got participants to think about questions relating to the benefit of a historical collection: how value is ascribed to the collected objects, and how a collection of objects stands for a collection of ideas. Unlike objects, ideas don’t stand still, and we cannot possibly know today how invaluable our object collections will be in the future.

October 5 to November 30, 2023

Subject Content
Japanese Art and Design in the Global Context
Key concepts of curatorial practice
Excursion to Dazaifu Tenmangu & Keidai Art Museum
Excursion to YCAM Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media
Session at Kyushu University Museum, sight visit and visit of collections
Session at Kyushu University Museum, presentation and discussion of curatorial concepts

Number of Credits
2 credits

International Office, Faculty of Design, Kyushu University