Copenhagen ADI Conference 2017
9th annual international ADI conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative
University of Copenhagen 26-28 June 2017 

Exhibiting Asian Modernities

Conveners: Jens Sejrup and Oscar Salemink, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Like with all continents, the idea of Asia historically emerged through the collection, circulation, and exhibition of art objects in museums, galleries, and other exhibitionary spaces. But how are contemporary representations of Asian modernities delivered through exhibitionary practices, in rapidly changing Asian countries as well as in the West? This panel attempts to explore present-day mediations and interpretations of Asian modernities and the dynamics, developments, and realities of contemporary Asian societies and their interconnections in the display and circulation of objects (ethnographica, artworks, historical artifacts, etc.), networks, collaborations, exchanges, and spatial arrangements. Of central concern are the respective roles of Asian art objects and arrangements in the staging, dramatization, and contextualization of contemporary self-perceptions and social identification through museum practices, spatial organization, and object displays. Other important aspects could include:

  • Dominant and alternative orders of classification
  • Envisioning modernities beyond the European (comparative) frame
  • Spaces and spatial organization
  • Reinterpretations of Euro-Asian interactions
  • The impact of new configurations of power, politics, and capital in exhibitionary practices
  • Art collection and art consumption in developed or emerging Asian economies
  • Representations of regional connections
  • Issues of national and world heritage in Asia
  • New approaches to questions of roots, origins, locality and authenticity

We invite papers exploring all aspects of contemporary exhibitions of Asian modernities in material or mediated forms, seeking to foster in-depth conceptual and comparative discussion on an interdisciplinary as well as interregional foundation.