Facing Asia Flyer (PDF 543Kb)
Professor Roberta Wue, University of California, Irvine
This conference examines the photographic portrait in the first hundred years of the medium in
FACING ASIA refers to the significance of the camera in the historical depiction of the peoples of Asia. The conference aims to invoke debate on the photographic likeness—its producers, subjects, viewers, and collectors—which will highlight and enhance our understanding of the histories and legacies of such visual materials. It will not only analyse photographic representations of Asian peoples for the global market, but also consider the domestic adoptions and adaptions of photography for local forms of self-representation and cultural practice. Speakers will also consider the studio photograph as collaboration between photographer and sitter, and the diverse performed identities invoked by photographic sittings. Bringing together an international coterie of art historians, area specialists, curators and contemporary artists, this conference intends to raise debate on the theoretical approaches and contemporary claims to such archives in a field of growing academic, curatorial and public interest.
Speakers will examine several prominent issues and questions:
- Are there distinctive practices and conventions that informed and characterised regional photographic portrayals of sitters?
- In terms of both production and reception, how did the personal associations between photographers and sitters inform the resultant photographic portraits?
- How did the increasing traffic of people and representations across national borders, both within and beyond the Asia-Pacific region, inform and alter studio practices and photographic imagery?
- How were regional practices of studio portraiture informed by traditional depictions of the human subject?
- In what ways was studio photography transformed through its interaction with other visual media in specific cultural contexts?