Machiko Kusahara

No Border! Art as Entertainment from a Japanese Point of View

Lecture given at the conference "Migrating Images"

Machiko Kusahara

Machiko Kusahara

Media Files


Art, design and entertainment are usually considered as different categories. More precisely, it is regarded that serious artists may choose design- or entertainment-related platforms as a part of their art makings, but they are not supposed to work on design or entertainment for its own sake. Traditionally genres such as applied art (in contrast to fine art) or low art (in contrast to high art) are not considered as the real art, which is the subject of art museums and galleries. Although there are artists and art works that have raised objections to such concept (Warhol, for example) divide between these genres still seem to remain the mainstream.
However, such idea of “pureness” of art is particular Western in the art history. The concept is a social and cultural issue. In a society with a different history and culture, such categorization in art and art making might be different, or might not exist. Historically in Japan, for example, there were no definitions such as “fine art” or “applied art” until late 19th century when Western art theory was imported. Celebrated artists painted on furniture, designed ceramics and other commodities, or garden. Japanese wooden block print is another example. The prints were meant to be consumed rather than to be kept.

For further information see attachment "Abstract of the lecture".

Artists / Authors



The House of World Cultures



The House of World Cultures, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, Germany




, Jan 27, 2004



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