Professor SUGIMOTO Yoshihisa

Affiliations :

What is the best way to view works of art?

I often hear this question. It is easy to reply: “Just follow your intuition…”, but this answer wouldn’t make much sense. The power “to see” required of art scholars is an ability to extract all necessary information by scrutinizing the work. However, most people lack this skill because standard and higher education seldom include the necessary training. When, for the sake of an experiment, I ask my students to explore some piece of art, many of them start searching for books on the subject even before they see the actual work. But as long as they stick to this approach, they won’t be able to perceive works of art with their own eyes. Furthermore, individual and independent consideration of the creator and the spirit of the age in which he or she lived will also be hindered.
How do we accurately extract information from an art object (without losing the sight of the work itself)? And how do we find proper words to share our discoveries with others? As a researcher, I am personally concerned with these problems of “input” and “output”. At the same time, I recognize that my students also need a productive and growth-inducing research environment. I strive to create this under the motto ‘Observe rationally – explain logically’.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    The Edo Era Art History; Japanese Painting History; Museum Practice
    Personal History
    Born Kyoto

    Graduated from the School of Literature, Waseda University
    Completed the master's program at the Divison of Arts, Waseda University (currently the Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University)

    Researcher (for 20 years), Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures
    Current position
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    The Edo Era Art History
    Research Subject
    18th century cultural trends and the diversity of expressive means in painting
    Bunjin culture; influence of the artist’s social status, region, and the spirit of times on expressive means in painting; evaluation of historical sources (authenticity verification); evaluation methodology
    The Japan Art History Society; The Japan Society for the Conservation of Cultural Property; Society of History of Art, Waseda University
  • Books
    Academic Papers
    2007 The 18th Award of Society of History of Art, Waseda University