In late 2015 UW Japan Studies co-sponsored a symposium entitled Socially Engaged Art in Japan. This 3-day event drew artists, academics, and museum and gallery curators from all over the world. A two-part special issue of the journal FIELD: A Journey of Socially Engaged Art Criticism has been published that was developed from presentations given at the UW-based symposium. Assistant professor Justin Jesty, of the Department of Asian Languages & Literature, organized the symposium and is featured in both issues of FIELD. The second volume in the series has just been published. (Volume 1 was published in Spring 2017.)
“Socially engaged art,” as described by professor Jesty, is “artistic work that crosses the boundaries between art and social activism.” As such, the two issues of FIELD cover a broad spectrum of topics relating to Japan and its “socially engaged art” movements, histories, criticism, and transformations. In addition to introducing both volumes, professor Jesty has also published his own essay in the most recent publication, Assessing Art Projects Aimed at Revitalization: the Case of the Koganechō Bazaar.
Both issues of FIELD are available online.