17th May 2014

Portrait of Japan: Myths and Realities of Japan in Art

For the second year, Mutual Images is glad to invite you to participate in a workshop seeking to explore the dynamic relations between Japan and Europe. We hope to further discuss the “mutual images” that circulate between Japan and Europe in a forever process of definition of the Self and the Other.

This year’s thematic will take us to the frontier between myth and reality, or rather myths and realities. The plural enables us to interrogate questions of subjectivity, cultural perspective, reconstruction of the past, ‘invented traditions’.

We welcome papers that consider Japanese or European artists or artworks working with the idea of Otherness (respectively in Europe or Japan), as well as artists who have incorporated imported techniques as an interrogation of the artist’s cultural identity.

During the workshop we aim to answer to a manifold of questions about, among other subjects, cultural identity, image-building, art’s involvement with the social field. What is the difference between myth and fiction? How can the artist create a myth? What part of reality and what part of myth lies in the artistic production? What cultural attitudes and discursive strategies lie beneath Japanese artistic products and works intended to depict European cultures? This workshop aims to interrogate the concept of reality and fiction in art, through the specific lens of cultural identity. We encourage submissions with a pluridisciplinary approach and concerning all artistic media.

This inter-disciplinary workshop is open to both postgraduates and academics at any stage of their career.


300 word abstracts should be submitted by 31st of January 2014. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by 5th April 2014. Please note that the presentations should be of around 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of exchanges among the participants.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to the following address:


Abstracts should be in Word format with the following information and in this order: a) title of abstract, b) body of abstract, c) up to 10 key words, d) author(s), e) affiliation, f) email address.

Please use plain text (Garamond 11) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline).

E-mails should be entitled: MUTUAL IMAGES 2014 Abstract Submission.

All abstracts will be anonymously reviewed by a jury of specialists. Authors will be notified via email on the results of the review by 15th of February 2014.

We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal. We suggest, then, to resend it.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Aurore Montoya, University of the West of England, UK

Danesin Maxime, Université de Tours, France

Marco Pellitteri, Kōbe University, Japan