University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Hosts Virtual Symposium Series on Asian Photography

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A virtual symposium series launched this year at the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts (UArizona CFA) seeks to highlight photography from Asia and the ways in which this art has shaped culture and history across the continent.

The series began in February with the three-day “Photography and Korea: History and Practice” symposium that featured panel discussions and keynote speakers, including curators from the Seoul Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. In April, it continued with “Photography and Taiwan: History and Practice,” which also held roundtables and special sessions with artists, curators, scholars, and museum directors who are experts in Taiwanese photography. Both symposiums included dialogue on the history of photographic practices in each country as well as the effects of colonialism, postcolonialism, gender issues, and national identity on Korean and Taiwanese photography movements. 

The series was organized by Jeehey Kim, an assistant professor of art history at UArizona CFA, who was inspired to create the symposiums as a means of promoting content and resources on Asian photography to the campus community, according to a university news release.

“When I was in graduate school as a doctoral student, it was necessary for me to have knowledge of Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, and those canonical American photographers,” Kim said in the release. “But it was totally fine for me not to know the Japanese and Korean photographers of the same period.”

Kim plans to continue the series with events centered on “potential themes such as photography and archipelago or the tie between photography and militarism,” the release states.

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This article was published in our June 2022 issue.