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Getty: Tekagami as/and Fragments

March 29, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

This transdisciplinary colloquium will explore the Japanese practice of assembling fragmented calligraphy into albums known as tekagami (mirror of hands). In East Asia, calligraphy held paramount status as an artform that manifested a direct link between the hands and the mind. In the sixteenth century, a new practice of collecting pieces of handwritten texts cut from scrolls or codices, or peeled off folding screens or albums, emerged in Japan. What were the implications of such rupturing of texts and the new connotations drawn from assembling the fragmented results?
With generous support from the Getty Research Institute Scholars Program, ‘Tekagami as/and Fragments’ will bring together specialists in Japan, China, the ancient Mediterranean, and the United States, to expose tekagami research to diverse cultural and theorized perspectives, opening the conversation to the processes of fragmentation, and the transformation of fragments into artifacts collected, preserved, displayed, re-used, re-combined, and so on.
Panelists and guest respondents: David Brafman (Getty Research Institute); John Carpenter (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); Linda Chance (University of Pennsylvania); Julie Nelson Davis (University of Pennsylvania); Edward Kamens (Yale University); Kristopher Kersey (University of California, Los Angeles); Carolyn Laferriere (University of Southern California); Halle O’Neal (University of Edinburgh); Akiko Walley (University of Oregon; 2020-21 Getty Scholar); Xue Lei (Oregon State University).
To learn more about tekagami in advance of the colloquium, please watch the following introductory videos:
Image: An excerpt from Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji). Attributed to Shōren-in Sonjun. Shikishi (poem card), early 17th century. From A Mirror of Hands Album (tekagami). Courtesy Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.