Conference on Asian Art at the University of Bonn, October 2011

Julia Hegewald julia.hegewald at UNI-BONN.DE
Tue Jul 19 11:02:38 UTC 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I would like to inform you about an international conference, entitled

In the Shadow of the Golden Age:
Art and Identity in Asia from Gandhara to the Modern Age

which my DFG-funded research team and my department are organising at The
University of Bonn from

13. - 15. October 2011.

Please find the provisional programme and a short conference description
below. Further information can be found on our webpage:

For further information, please contact myself or Navina Sarma
(navina at I will be circulating the final version of the
programme in late September.

Looking forward to seeing you in Bonn.

Julia Hegewald
Professor of Oriental Art History
University of Bonn

Provisional Programme
 Please note that this programme is still provisional and that changes in
the sequence of papers and in the timings may be made over the next few
months. The final programme will be available shortly before the start of
the conference.
Thursday 13th October 2011
16:00-17:00            Registration and tea
17:00-18:30            Keynote address: Partha Mitter
                                The Keynote Paper: the Role of History and
Memory in Modernity
19:00                        Conference dinner for participants
Friday 14th October 2011:
09:30-10:30            Registration
10:30-11:30            Susan L. Huntington
                                Buddhist Art Through a Modern Lens: A Case
of a Mistaken Scholarly
                                John C. Huntington
                                Bactro-Gandharan Art Beyond its Homeland
11:30-12:00            Coffee
12:00-13:00             Ciro Lo Mucio
                                The Legacy of Gandhara in Central Asian
                                Petra Rösch
                                 Illusionary Narratives: The Deconstruction
of the Tang Dynasty as the
                                “Golden Age” of Chan Buddhism in China.
13:00-14:30            Lunch
14:30-15:30            William A. Southworth
                                Iconoclasm and Temple Transformation at
Angkor from the 13th to 15th
                                Tiziana Lorenzetti
                                Political and Social Dimension as Reflected
in the Medieval Sculptures of
                                South India: Confrontations, antagonism and
15:30-16:00            Tea
16:00-17:00            Mallica Kumbera Landrus
                                Trans-Cultural Temples: Identity and
Practice in Goa
                                Sarah Shaw
                                Art and Narrative in Changing Conditions:
Southern Buddhist temple art as an
                                accommodation of the new and diverse
17:00-17:30            Drinks
17:30 - 18:30           Professorial Inaugural Lecture: Julia A. B. Hegewald
                                Golden Age or Kali-Yuga?: The Changing
Fortunes of Jaina Art and Identity
                                in Karnataka
19:00                       Conference dinner for participants
Saturday 15th October 2011:
09:30-10:30             Jennifer Howes
                                Indian Company Painting: 1780 to 1820
                                Eva-Maria Troelenberg
                                The „Golden Age“ and the Secession:
Approaches to Alterity in early 20th
                                Century World Art

10:30-11:00            Coffee
11:00-12:30            Parul Dave Muckerji
                                Who is afraid of Utopia? Contemporary Indian
Artists and Their Retakes on
                                “Golden” age
                                Nalini Balbir
                                Old Texts, New Images: Illustrating the
Śvetāmbara Jain Āgamas today
                                Christoph Emmrich
                                Loss, Damage, Repair and Prevention in the
Historiography of Newar Religious
12:30-14:00            Lunch
14:00-15:15            Regina Höfer
                                ‘Buddha at hotmail‘ - Contemporary Tibetan Art
goes Global
                                Daniel Redlinger (IOA, The University of
                                        Building for the brothers?
Indo-Islamic architectural citations in the recent
                                        architecture of South Arabia
                                Concluding session
15:15-15:45            Tea
15:45-18:00            Coach to Cologne and visit to Rautenstrauch-Joest

Conference Abstract:
In the Shadow of the Golden Age:
Art and Identity in Asia from Gandhara to the Modern Age
This international conference brings together specialists in the visual arts
and humanities working on material from a wide range of periods and regions
throughout Asia, the Islamic world and the Western diaspora. Instead of
concentrating on the so-called ‘high points’ and ‘golden ages’ of art, which
have so far stood generally at the centre of art-historical enquiries, this
symposium focuses on visual expressions of confrontation with the ‘other,’
struggle or isolation during times of change. These challenging but
artistically fertile periods were marked by intense efforts by communities
in search for new identities. Through their art and frequently through the
re-use of old symbols in new settings they succeeded in redefining
themselves so as to strengthen their religious, cultural or political
position. In the history of art, these less investigated phases raise
issues, which hold the promise of new significant contributions to the
What happened to Gandharan art after its main phase of flowering came to an
end in its traditional heartland? How does Hindu temple architecture react
to a majority Christian cultural environment in Goa? In which ways do new
rulers and religions, e.g. in medieval South India and at Angkor, relate to
the sacred places and icons of previous cultures and religious groups and
how do the disposed and dispossessed deal with their loss and react to the
The confrontation with the ‘other’ has been particularly pronounced during
periods of colonisation throughout Asia. How did British colonial officials
and Indian artists commissioned by them represent the different facets of
the empire, how was world art exhibited and interpreted in the West and how
were (and are?) categories such as ‘masterpiece’ or ‘golden age’ employed to
classify and judge art?
A further particularly fertile area of enquiry is the modern age in which
many traditions (religious, regal or social) appear to be threatened by
globalisation and changes in value. The diverse examples of modern day
artistic expressions taken from Arabia, India, Nepal and Thailand to be
presented during this conference, however, suggest impressive acts of
survival and creative adaptation, which enable continuity and the endurance
of forms, meanings and practices under new disguises.

Prof. Dr. Julia A. B. Hegewald
Professor of Oriental Art History
Head of Department
Universität Bonn
Institut für Orient- und Asienwissenschaften (IOA)
Abteilung für Asiatische und Islamische Kunstgeschichte
Adenauerallee 10
D – 53113 Bonn

Email: julia.hegewald at
Tel. 0049-228-73 7213
Fax. 0049-228-73 4042

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