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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2052 Showing Asia

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Maki Fukuoka

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This course addresses themes that emerged from practices of collecting and exhibiting Asian object from 19th century to present. By contextualising particular case studies historically, this module unpicks the interwoven relationship between the production of the knowledge of Asian art and the practices of collecting and exhibiting that art. This module begins by unsettling the category of “Asia” and “art” and throughout the semester returns to different ways in which these two categories were deployed by nation/state, colonizers, and commercial enterprises. It engages with motivations and incentives for both collecting and displaying Asian objects in museum as well as commercial settings through balanced readings of primary and secondary sources.


This module focuses on the historical practice of collecting and exhibiting Asian objects, both within and outside Asia. It offers a thematic survey of the history of engagements that displayed “Asian” cultures from 19th century to today by exploring wide-ranging primary sources from catalogues of Crystal Palace exposition to internet home pages. This module aims to analyze the interconnected ways through which political and social forces shape the access to and formation of knowledge of art in/of Asia.

Learning outcomes
The students should have a good understanding of the cultural practices and values that shaped the exhibition practices of Asian objects. They should be able to articulate the historical relationships between art historical discourses of Asia and the museological practices both within and beyond Asia. They should develop their critical skills in relating the methodological and historical underpinnings of the material covered in this module to a broader context.

Skills outcomes
Skilled visual and textual analysis
Ability to construct a sustained and coherent argument
Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual, and cultural information
Critical reflection on the discursive formation of art history


Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Museums and Modernity
Week 3: Collecting and Ordering Asia (pt.1 in UK)
Week 4: Colonialism and showing (World expositions)
Week 5: Collecting and Ordering Asia (pt.2 in Japan)
Week 6: Reading week (Colonialism within Asia)
Week 7: Nationhood and National Museums (The Palace Museums)
Week 8: Showing Asia in the post-colonial context
Week 9: Whose Asia is it? (Korean National Museum, National Museum, Tokyo, Asian Civilization Museum)
Week 10: Globalisation, Museums, and Asia
Week 11: Globalisation, Cultural Artefacts, and Asia

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to complete a set of reading for each week to support a level of independent study and preparation for lectures and seminars.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The in-class discussion, and posting of alternate weekly responses on VLE allow on-going monitoring of student progress. The successful completion of the final essay will be also monitored through submissions of abstract, bibliography, and individual tutoring during Week 10 and 11.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500-3000 word essay50.00
Report500 word report10.00
Assignment4 x 250 word alternate weekly reading response40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00


Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:37


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