Webinar | Carved Alive: Buddhist Tree-icons (tachikibutsu) in Japan and "Eco Art History"

Tessa Machida's picture

The Center for Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley invites you to join us online on Tuesday, May 11 for the following event:

[Aspects of Japanese Studies] Carved Alive: Buddhist Tree-icons (tachikibutsu) in Japan and "Eco Art History"
May 11, 2021 | 5-5:30 p.m. PDT |  Online - Zoom Webinar
Speaker: Gregory Levine, Professor, Department of History of Art, UC Berkeley
Sponsor: Center for Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley

This short talk introduces Buddhist icons carved into standing and usually living trees in Japan (tachikibutsu), a practice that appears to begin in the 8th century and draws upon the worship of numinous trees. Tree-icons, to give them a name, trouble notions of "Buddhist art" and art history's  anthropocentrism. Art history anthropocentric? Isn't this a given? But what if we seek to give the trees in tree-icons their due, allow them to make claims upon human-made images? How might this contribute to larger discussions about human-non-human relationships and ecology? Is there an ecological art history? What would this demand of us and perhaps make possible?

*Aspects of Japanese Studies showcases the research being done by members of the CJS community. Faculty, graduate students and alumni of CJS present a casual 15-minute online talk on their current work or key research topics in Japanese Studies. Talks are followed by questions and answers.

Registration required: https://berkeley.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2It8Pq1XSSG2cVJ5cfg7o