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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

East Asian Collections in Slovenia: Inclusion of Slovenia in the global exchanges of objects and ideas with East Asia

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.09.00  Humanities  Art history   

Code Science Field
H310  Humanities  Art history 

Code Science Field
6.04  Humanities  Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music) 
Keywords
East Asian Collections in Slovenia, material culture, history of collecting, global exchange, museum taxonomy, European periphery
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  52591  PhD Tina Berdajs  Art history  Junior researcher  2019 - 2022  21 
2.  04017  MSc Ralf Čeplak Mencin  Ethnology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  333 
3.  53387  Mina Grčar  Culturology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  21 
4.  38070  PhD Klara Hrvatin  Humanities  Researcher  2018 - 2022  108 
5.  51180  PhD Byoung Yoong Kang  Literary sciences  Researcher  2018  224 
6.  24430  PhD Helena Motoh  Philosophy  Researcher  2018 - 2022  181 
7.  35805  PhD Tea Sernelj  Culturology  Researcher  2018  93 
8.  20753  PhD Chikako Shigemori Bučar  Linguistics  Researcher  2018 - 2022  230 
9.  50906  Barbara Trnovec  Anthropology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  142 
10.  24509  PhD Nataša Vampelj Suhadolnik  Humanities  Head  2018 - 2022  260 
11.  24438  PhD Maja Veselič  Anthropology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  135 
12.  25583  PhD Nataša Visočnik Gerželj  Anthropology  Researcher  2018 - 2022  173 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,910 
2.  0622  Slovene Ethnographic Museum  Ljubljana  5052653000  3,711 
3.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  14,188 
Abstract
The project will for the first time explore and make a comprehensive study of the art objects from East Asia that are stored in various Slovenian museums. While some of these collections have been the subject of research in recent years, a comprehensive, in-depth study has yet to be undertaken. With only a few minor exceptions, the vast majority of these objects are stored in museum depositories, and some signs of deterioration and damage are already evident due to the lack of specific knowledge and thus of improper storage and treatment. In some cases, the existing identification and categorization has also been proven to be incorrect. The project within its scope covers content which had previously not been researched in Slovenia. For the first time we have the opportunity to work with a team of highly qualified experts, which will be able to perform, in cooperation with curators and museums, a quality and top-level research study. The project is conceived as a response to the challenge of situating the history of the collecting of East Asian objects and of their cultural connotations in the global context, deriving from the paradoxical assumption of the (dis)connection between materiality and cultural connotation. Through the analysis of East Asian collections kept in various museums in Slovenia, this project will examine and reconstruct intercultural relations between the Slovenia and East Asia. It will also critically reappraise the cultural conditionality of so-called East Asian objects in the global history of collecting and make a major contribution to the re-examination of the existing museum taxonomy. Indirectly, the project will thus encourage a different understanding of the binary relationships of the East and West, especially with respect to the Eurocentric frameworks and colonial categories of collecting practices. In addition, the research will also shed light on the particular position of Slovenia within the history of Euro-Asian collectionist connections. Whether we study curiosity collections, collections made by travellers and missionaries or collections of diplomatic gifts, studying their history can enable us to assess the peripheral character of Slovenia in relation to the centres of precolonial, colonial and postcolonial centres of power. In the context of Foucault or Said that special position might also mean that the orientalist-type knowledge production is formed in more complex circumstances and therefore displays different characteristics. We will try to explore this theoretical premise by exploring the history of the representations of East Asia in Slovenian collections It is necessary to emphasize that the project will focus on the specifics of the Slovenian cultural and socio-political context for the first time, thus opening up new research opportunities in the previously neglected area. This, in turn, will lead to a re-evaluation of Eurocentric frames and colonial categories of collector practices. In the scope of the proposed project the analyses of collections of East Asian origin will be based on the well-established theories regarding the interpretative nature of objects, deriving from their interdependent relations with human beings. The research will thus undoubtedly fill in relevant gaps in the European global collecting history, which will further contribute to the re-evaluation of established prevailing tendencies in the European collecting history of »East Asian objects«. After one hundred years of keeping East Asia-related items in museum depositories, it is therefore essential to place the processing of these items within the national framework for the protection of cultural heritage. This would not only contribute to the protection of cultural heritage, but also create the basic foundation for further forms of conservation and restoration. If not, this heritage will continue to dwell in depositories and live dormant lives, where its life-span will surely shorten significantly.
Significance for science
The project will for the first time explore and make a comprehensive study of the art objects from East Asia that are stored in various Slovenian museums. The project thus responds directly to the requirements of cultural heritage protection, as well as that of connecting people through a broader global and national heritage. Majority of the art objects live a dormant life in the museum depositories. The previous examination showed that some signs of deterioration and damage are already evident due to the lack of specific knowledge and thus of improper storage and treatment. After one hundred years of keeping East Asia-related items in museum depositories, it is therefore essential to place the processing of these items within the national framework for the protection of cultural heritage. This would not only contribute to the protection of cultural heritage, but also create the basic foundation for further forms of conservation and restoration. At the same time, this would create the basic conditions for the mounting of various exhibitions. If not, this heritage will continue to dwell in depositories and live dormant lives, where its life-span will surely shorten significantly. The project will also be of great significance for the international academic community, as it represents the first comprehensive examination of the understanding of the East Asian cultural heritage in those regions of Europe that were relatively marginal with respect to the exchanges between Europe and East Asia, opening up the question of differing conceptualizations of cultural and national heritage and its protection by centers and peripheries. The new theoretical foundations and research templates will be applied in any future studies of other collections and will advance the development of new research directions in Slovenia and abroad, especially in those research communities which are likewise beginning to analyse similar collections (e.g. in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Scotland). At the same time, the research work will form theoretical and methodological foundations for the evaluation of objects / works of art in Slovenia, inspired by these museum art objects as chinoiserie. With its findings, the project aims to encourage further theoretical and applied research into the cultural conditioning of the interpretation, evaluation and protection of historical/museum objects of East Asian provenance, their embeddedness in national frameworks and the profound interconnections between their production, origin, purpose and later transmission to a foreign environment. The project will also shed light onto material and cultural exchanges between Slovenia and East Asia, and further contribute to a deeper understanding of cultural, philosophical, social, and ideational values. It will thus encourage the overcoming of stereotypes and the acceptance of diverse cultural values not only in Slovenia, but also in Europe and beyond.
Significance for the country
The project will for the first time explore and make a comprehensive study of the art objects from East Asia that are stored in various Slovenian museums. The project thus responds directly to the requirements of cultural heritage protection, as well as that of connecting people through a broader global and national heritage. Majority of the art objects live a dormant life in the museum depositories. The previous examination showed that some signs of deterioration and damage are already evident due to the lack of specific knowledge and thus of improper storage and treatment. After one hundred years of keeping East Asia-related items in museum depositories, it is therefore essential to place the processing of these items within the national framework for the protection of cultural heritage. This would not only contribute to the protection of cultural heritage, but also create the basic foundation for further forms of conservation and restoration. At the same time, this would create the basic conditions for the mounting of various exhibitions. If not, this heritage will continue to dwell in depositories and live dormant lives, where its life-span will surely shorten significantly. The project will also be of great significance for the international academic community, as it represents the first comprehensive examination of the understanding of the East Asian cultural heritage in those regions of Europe that were relatively marginal with respect to the exchanges between Europe and East Asia, opening up the question of differing conceptualizations of cultural and national heritage and its protection by centers and peripheries. The new theoretical foundations and research templates will be applied in any future studies of other collections and will advance the development of new research directions in Slovenia and abroad, especially in those research communities which are likewise beginning to analyse similar collections (e.g. in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Scotland). At the same time, the research work will form theoretical and methodological foundations for the evaluation of objects / works of art in Slovenia, inspired by these museum art objects as chinoiserie. With its findings, the project aims to encourage further theoretical and applied research into the cultural conditioning of the interpretation, evaluation and protection of historical/museum objects of East Asian provenance, their embeddedness in national frameworks and the profound interconnections between their production, origin, purpose and later transmission to a foreign environment. The project will also shed light onto material and cultural exchanges between Slovenia and East Asia, and further contribute to a deeper understanding of cultural, philosophical, social, and ideational values. It will thus encourage the overcoming of stereotypes and the acceptance of diverse cultural values not only in Slovenia, but also in Europe and beyond.
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