Universiteit Leiden

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Takako Kondo

PhD candidate

Drs. T. Kondo MA
+31 71 527 2727

Takako Kondo is an external PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Takako Kondo


Art beyond Japan: Contemporary art in the politics of translation

This dissertation is a critical investigation of knowledge production of the notion of “contemporary Japanese art” in both English and Japanese language realms. This study approaches to the formation of the notion as a discursive construction in the interest of various cultural-ideological intentions on the backdrop of the emerging discipline of World Art History. Paying close attention to art historical, critical, and artistic enunciations in/on contemporary art of/from/in Japan since the 1950s proposing artistic notions and epistemic conditions that are ulterior to the traditional Western notion of fine arts, this study argues that there is a structure which buries these enunciations, whereas serving “transparency” on the idea of contemporary art of/from/in Japan as a culturally and artistically unified entity. The structure, this study seeks to expose, is  translation. In the present era of globalization, it is unthinkable for art historians and critics to pursue their scholarly studies without employing any translation; however, this study takes issue with the translational practice in art criticism, as  an operation at stake. This dissertation is a transdisciplinary undertaking that takes its place at the crossroad of Art History, Comparative Literature, Translation Studies, and Cultural Studies.


Research group

Memory and Identity

Teaching activities

Representations of Japan in Contemporary Media (BA course, 2009) Japanese Studies Programme, Leiden University

Japan as Blind Spot (RMA course, 2007) with Dr. E.M.A.F.M. Rader as part of the seminar Before and After Orientalism , Research Master Literary Studies Programme, University of Amsterdam

Curriculum vitae


M.A. (cum laude) in Art Studies (Kunstwetenschappen), University of Amsterdam 
Drs. in Art History, University of Amsterdam 
M.F.A. in Applied Art, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan 
B.F.A. in Applied Art, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan

Grants and awards


2015 Research grant, Kashima Foundation for the Arts, Tokyo

Selected publications

Whereabouts of “Contemporary Japanese Art” in World Art History: A Comparative Study of Art Criticisms in English and Japanese. In: Kajima bijutsu kenkyû 33 (November 2016), 146-55. (in Japanese)

Surviving as an Avant-Gardist: A Piratical Study on Kudô Tetsumi. In: Shigemi Inaga (ed). Piratical View of the World History: A Reversed Perception of the Order of Things. Kyoto: Shibunkaku shuppan, 196-226. (in Japanese)

Surviving as an Avant-Gardist: A Piratical Study on Kudō Tetsumi. In: Shiemi Inaga (ed). A Pirate's View of World History: A Reversed Perception of the Order of Things From a Global Perspective. Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies, 147. (in English)

Conference papers and presentations

“Questioning Transparency: On Translation and Contemporary Japanese Art in World Art History” (in Japanese) at the seminar Aida (In-between-ness), International Research Center for Japanese Studies [Nichibunken], September 2016, Kyoto, Japan.

“Questioning Transparency: On Translation and Contemporary Japanese Art in World Art History” at the 34th World Congress of Art History, CIHA, September 2016, Beijing, China.

 “Determining Self-Position as Avant-Gardist: Piratical Analysis on Piratical Practice of Tetsumi Kudo” at the 50th International Research Symposium, International Research Center for Japanese Studies [Nichibunken], April 2016, Kyoto, Japan.

“Resurrection of a Cabinet of Curiosities in the Era of Globalization?: A Cultural-Political Analysis of Collecting Geographies at the Symposium, Collecting Geographies: Global Programming and Museums of Modern Art, Stedelijk Museum, March 2014, Amsterdam.

“Transparency for Whom?: Contesting Institutionalization of World/Global Art History in the Age of Globalization.” at the International Summer School of the Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences of the Research Academy Leipzig and the Centre for Area Studies, Universität Leipzig, September 2012, Leipzig, Germany.

“On Homogenization of ‘Art’ in the Name of World Art History.” at the Workshop Alter/native Imagi/nations:Japanese Media Spaces and Japan in Crisis in cooperation with University of Tokyo and Leiden University, April 2012, Leiden.

“(Japanese) Contemporary Art in the Interstices.” at the LIAS Ph.D and Postdoc Seminar, Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Leiden University, March 2011, Leiden.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap
  • LIAS Member of LIAS Advisory Board 2009 - 2011
  • LIAS Member of LIAS PhD Council 2009 - 2011
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