Saturday 28 August 2021

Twelfth International Congress of Asian Researchers

Twelfth International Congress of Asian Researchers Twelfth International Congress of Asian Researchers

From the 24th to the 28th of August 2021, meetings of the Twelfth International Congress of Asian Researchers - ICAS 12 (The 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars) were held. The meetings were called "Shaping Global Culture", they are being organized every two years by the Leiden Institute IIAS (International Institute of Asian Studies).

This year the Institute of Oriental Studies presented at the congress the only report of Dinara Dubrovskaya. Ms. Dubrovskaya is the Head of Oriental History Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies. The report was called “Diaries of Vasily Vereshchagin and his Japanese Series of Prints”.
D.V. Dubrovskaya examined the personal diaries of Vasily Vereshchagin (1842–1904) in her report during the 2nd International Orientalist Congress in Kyoto. Vasily Vereschagin was the world famous leader of Russian “orientalist” artists. He was not only a painter and graphic artist, but also an avid traveler and visual journalist of the East. He covered in his travel diaries the impressions from visiting many regions of Central Asia, India, the Middle and Far East.

The artist's last trip was a journey to Japan that coincided with the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. He died during that war in the explosion of the battleship "Petropavlovsk".

Nevertheless, renowned well for his brilliant and anthropologically accurate depictions of people, cities, settlements and battles, Vereshchagin is still being underestimated as the author of highly accurate observations found in his travel diaries and letters. 

Vereshchagin's notes on Japan, on the daily life of Tokyo and Kyoto, on his love for the Japanese landscape, his interest in Buddhist and Shinto cults and peculiar detached descriptions of local residents and their customs have not yet been studied by orientalists as deeply and in detail as they should. These notes are an invaluable source not only for the anthropological and ethnological, but also for the historical and psychological fields of scientific research.

D.V. Dubrovskaya illustrated her report with reproductions of paintings and sketches belonging to the Japanese corpus of V.V. Vereshchagin’s works. Then she demonstrated in which way the visual information was received by the artist in the process of observation, and then was processed by the painter through its verbalization. D.V. Dubrovskaya made an assumption on the reasons for Vereshchagin's development of a new style similar to French impressionism, possibly influenced by Japanese engraving.

The congress, organized jointly with Kyoto Seika University, was held fully online, allowing the organizers to bring together scholars from 65 countries. Most of the lectures at the congress were accompanied by pre-recorded presentations.

Traditionally, the 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars brings together more than a thousand orientalists. This time the meetings were held on a wide range of topics from politics, religious studies, philosophy of international relations, linguistics and literary studies, history and economics to art studies, media, gender studies, issues of historical memory, urbanization, and education.

Source: ИВ РАН