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Book presentation: Consuming Life in Post-Bubble Japan

Thursday 15 March 2018
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden

On the 15th of March, the book’s authors, Prof Dr Kasia Cwiertka and Dr Ewa Machotka will present their book Consuming Life in Post-Bubble Japan.  The event will be held in the basement of the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, Matthias de Vrieshof 3, from 16:00 to 17:30, with a reception afterward. For an excerpt of the book, please see below:

“The bursting of the economic bubble in the 1990s shook the very foundation of the post-war economic ‘miracle’ and marked the beginning of a gradual shift in the environmental consciousness of the Japanese. Yet, it by no means removed consumption from the pivotal position it occupied within Japanese society. Consuming Life in Post-Bubble Japan argues that consumption in Japan today is no longer simply a component of everyday economic activities, but rather a reflection of a society guided by the ‘logic of late capitalism’. The volume pins down the contradictory nature of the setting in which consuming occurs in Japan today: the veneration of material comfort and convenience on the one hand, and the new rhetoric of recycling and energy conservation on the other. Theoretical insights developed as part of an art-historical enquiry, such as notions of socially engaged art and its critique, offer a new paradigm for investigating this dilemma. By combining case studies analysing the production and consumption of contemporary art with ethnographic material related to ordinary commodities and shopping, this volume provides a novel, transdisciplinary approach to exploring how a ‘society of consumers’ operates in post-bubble Japan and how contemporary life is a ‘consuming project’.”

A reaction will be given by Prof. Dr. Kitty Zijlmans, Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory/World Art Studies.


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