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IMAGES (V) – Images of (Cultural) Values

The Conference Proceedings

Edited By Veronika Bernard

This collection of articles offers readers a cross-section of current research on contemporary and historical concepts and representations of (cultural) values as documented in popular culture, public space, the arts, works of literature and in ethnic contexts. The contributors to this volume are from the US, Algeria, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Turkey, and Austria. Their very different cultural, ideological, scientific, academic and non-academic perspectives and backgrounds allow insights from many different viewpoints.
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Jutta Teuwsen (Düsseldorf/Germany) - Contemporary Japanese Arts: Religion and Technology in the Illustrations of Nature


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Jutta Teuwsen

Contemporary Japanese Arts: Religion and Technology in the Illustrations of Nature

Abstract Besides their Japanese background the contemporary Japanese artists Konoike Tomoko, teamLab and Kobayashi Nobuyuki share the main motif of nature within their arts. To explain and promote their works they refer to different, but both well-known cultural images of the Japanese: nature and technology.

Außer ihrer japanischen Herkunft verbindet die zeitgenössischen japanischen Künstler Konoike Tomoko, teamLab und Kobayashi Nobuyuki die Natur als das zentrale Motiv ihrer Kunst. Um ihre Werke zu erklären und zu vermarkten, beziehen sie sich auf verschiedene, aber dennoch weitläufig bekannte Bilder des Japanischen: Natur und Technologie.

1 Introduction: Nature and Religion in Japan

The intense and extraordinary relationship to nature is held as one crucial cultural value of the Japanese. This image is constructed and maintained diligently not only by foreigners, but especially by Japanese actors themselves. Notably in the field of representations of nature in contemporary Japanese arts this image is reproduced and maintained continuously.

To understand the relationship of the Japanese towards nature, the reference point most often quoted is religion. Namely, religion in Japan assumes a completely different human-nature-relationship than Western religions do (cf. Brechner 2000, p. 46). The idea of a duality between nature on the one side and human mind on the other side evolved in ancient Greece, and is one of the central assumptions in Western...

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