OBJECTively - Connecting Australia and Japan: objects, cultural stories, people

In this symposium, prominent Australian and Japanese artists, cultural commentators and scholars speak about their personal relationship with an object that embodies a connection between Japan and Australia. They reflect on their own role as intermediaries between Australia and Japan and Australia in their own professional worlds. As narrators, creators, distributors, interpreters and consumers of these objects, they – and we – are transforming everyday life and cultural and artistic practices in each country. 

Speakers include: 

  • Professor Kazue Nakamura, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, Meiji University 
  • Ryuhei Nadatani, Director, Public Program, Toyoma Glass Studio, Japan
  • Lesley Kehoe, Director, Lesley Kehoe Galleries
  • Doug Hall AM, Writer; Director, Queensland Art Galleryǀ GOMA 1987-2007; and Commissioner for the Australian exhibitions, Venice Biennale, 2009 and 2011
  • Dr Emerald King, Lecturer in Japanese, La Trobe University and Cosplayer
  • John McBride AM, philanthropist, art patron and tea master in the Omotesenke tea tradition.
  • Kaye Green, artist and lithographer, Hobart
  • Savanhdary Vongpoothorn, award-winning visual artist and guest curator
  • Dr Chaitanya Sambrani, ANU Centre for Art History and Theory, and curator
  • Melinda Smith, Australian poet and emerging translator for Japanese poetry
  • Ryan van Leent, resident instructor of the ACT Shotokan Karate Dojo
  • Dr Sasha Mikheyev, evolutionary biologist, ANU Research School of Biology
  • Dr Juan Felipe Torres, ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Dr Kirsten Farrell, Artist and Deputy Manager, Research Services, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Dr Celine D'Orgeville, ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Plus many more

This symposium is presented by the ANU Japan Institute and the ANU School of Art and Design, and supported by the Embassy of Japan.

This event is free and open to the public.


Photo by Earl Carter: Pauline Gandel Collection of Japanese Lacquer. 

Preliminary conference program

0830 Registration

0850 Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country, Introduction of HE Ambassador Takahashi - Associate Professor Carol Hayes, ANU

0900 Formal opening remarks - HE Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Embassy of Japan

0905 Response and welcome -  TBC, ANU School of Art and Design

0915 Keynote  I : Mr Doug Hall AM

0945 Conversation I: Objects in motion: Mr John McBride AM, Mr Ryan van Leent, and Dr Emerald King; Moderator: Mr Bruce Miller AO

1045 Keynote II: Professor Kazue Nakamura

1115 Morning tea

1145 Conversation II : Miniature objects: Dr Kirsten Farrell, Ms Melinda Smith,Dr Sasha Mikheyev, and Dr Juan Felipe Torres; Moderator: Associate Professor Carol Hayes

1300 Lunch     

1345 Keynote III : Ms Lesley J. Kehoe

1415 Conversation III:  Exquisite objects: Ms Kaye Green, Ms Savanhdary Vongpoothorn, Dr Chaitanya Sambrani, and Dr Celine D’Orgeville; Moderator: Asociate Professor Richard Whiteley, ANU

1545 Afternoon tea

1615 Keynote IV: Mr Ryuhei Nadatani

1645 Thanks and close - Professor Veronica Taylor, ANU

1700 Informal drinks reception

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute