Portraits of Feminism in Japan features original works by contemporary artists
February 16, 2023
A new art exhibit in the University of Michigan’s Lane Hall interrogates current and historical feminist activism in Japan. As in other cultural contexts, “feminism” in Japan can invoke sharply different associations. Mainstream feminist activism in Japan has focused on advocating for change in families, workplaces, schools, political institutions, and laws, among many other contexts. Many – but certainly not all – feminist activists in Japan are also responding to the lasting legacies of Japanese colonial projects, working toward recognition, repair, and meaningful reparations for racial and gender-based violence that continues to impact communities disproportionately.
Portraits of Feminism in Japan features nine original portraits of feminists who have shaped the landscape of women's and gender rights in Japan and beyond. Created by contemporary artists in Japan and the United States, the portraits and accompanying texts challenge simplistic understandings of "feminism" while also drawing attention to a diversity of experiences, needs, and activism within Japan.
This exhibit, a collaborative project between the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), also spotlights the history of Japanese studies at the University of Michigan in conjunction with the CJS's 75th anniversary celebration.
The artworks showcase a variety of styles and media, from digital photography, to acrylic paint, watercolor, collage, wood carving and more. The artists, who are from Japan and the United States, include Elaine Cromie, JenClare B. Gawaran, Takatoshi Hayashi, ivokuma (いぼくま), Nami Kaneko (金子奈美), Kang Jungsook, Lisa Taka Miyagi, Nancy Nishihira (西平・ナンシー), and Shigeki Shibata (柴田滋紀).
The curatorial team includes U-M professor Allison Alexy, graduate students Grace Mahoney and Alexandria Molinari, and alum Bradly Hammond.
Portraits of Feminism in Japan is free and open to the public through May 12, 2023. The exhibit space is located on the first floor of Lane Hall (204 South State Street) through the main entryway, and is open weekdays from 9am-4pm.
For more information, visit the exhibit website, https://ii.umich.edu/cjs/portraits-of-feminism-in-japan.
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Lane Hall, 204 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
*The artists’ roundtable conversation will also be streamed on Zoom.