The Japanese Nature of Describing the Colour of Things
Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room, Level 1
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
In the early 7th century, Prince Shōtoku established the first colour ranking system used to determine the hierarchy of colours worn in court society. Beyond this ancient court scheme the complex framework for describing colour in Japan is still used today, especially within the arts and crafts, textiles and literature.
This talk will explore some of the traditional approaches to describing colour and the continued use of this vocabulary in everyday life. Colour perception and the classification and naming of terms over time ultimately contribute to a unique cultural imagination. Taking the time to observe and describe the colours of any work of art creates the potential for an increasingly sophisticated and complex understanding of cultural difference. There are equally unexplored possibilities for mining the cultural richness which Japanese colour terminology offers through object based learning models.
This will be the third talk in the Asia Institute's Inagaki seminar series marking the Centenary of Japanese Language teaching.
Dr Olivia Meehan
Olivia Meehan received her MPhil and PhD in History of Art from the University of Cambridge, King’s College. Her primary area of research is crosscultural engagement, in particular, the circulation of European prints in early modern Japan. Most recently she has been researching effective object based learning models in the museum and gallery environment focusing on reading, language and visual literacy. Since graduating she has worked in museums and galleries and as lecturer and tutor in the History of Art. In 2015 Olivia was visiting fellow at the École Normale Supérieure Paris, where she studied works by Tsugouharu Foujita 藤田 嗣治 held at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Olivia is currently Curator of Academic Programs at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne.