Keynote Address: Cynthea Bogel

Photo by: Kelly Bogel

Professor Cynthea J. Bogel, Kyushu University, will present a keynote address for the conference, “Icons of Impermanence: Contemporary Buddhist Art”:

“New Roads to Nirvana: Visual Buddhism, Modern Eyes”

Date: Friday, July 6, 2012
Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm (Doors open at 7:00pm)
Place: Museum of Anthropology, 6393 North West Marine Drive
RSVP is required: Please click here                      

Across the modern world Buddhism is taught, re-shaped, and challenged through a range and variety of visual means and visual experiences, including manga, magazines, mementos, art installations, temple visitations, and mountain perambulations. Contemporary international artists draw inspiration from Buddhism or Buddhist imagery in ways that find no basis in doctrine. The lecture reviews these possibilities and developments, then turns to Japan, highlighting the reception and presentation of Buddhism by Buddhist adherents, detractors, and everyone between, beginning with the reception of Kusama Yayoi in 1959 New York, and continuing with today’s popular Son et Lumière events and the bōzu boomu (monk boom) in manga.

*PDF available here.

Dr. Bogel focuses on the art and architecture of Japan and Buddhist visual cultures. Her 2009 book, With a Single Glance: Buddhist Icon and Early Mikkyō Vision, examines early East Asian Esoteric icons and ideas. She recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship. Beginning her career as a curator at the RISD Museum of Art, she then taught at the University of Oregon and for thirteen years at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she was Associate Professor. In April of this year she became a professor at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, where she teaches Japanese visual culture and thought. She is writing a book on Japanese prints, an essay on Saidaiji, and an annotated bibliography of Asian Buddhist material culture.

This keynote address and the conference, “Icons of Impermanence: Contemporary Buddhist Art”, will be held at the University of British Columbia, in conjunction with the “Visions of Enlightenment: Buddhist Art at MOA exhibition. Conference presentations are also open to the public. To account for numbers, please send an email to and notify us of your desire to attend. We would like to recognize the following organizations for their support:

  • The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation
  • Canadian Society for Asian Arts
  • Museum of Anthropology at UBC

This event of the Buddhism and Contemporary Society

Program is made possible by the generous support of The

Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation, in collaboration with

the Institute of Asian Research and the Department of Asian

Studies. Additional funding provided by the Social Sciences

and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and

the Numata Foundation.

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