Blurring Boundaries as part of IAS Artist in Residence

Blurring Boundaries – the role of the artist in social history, responsibility and ethical choices

A public lecture by Mayu Kanamori, 2015 IAS Artist-in-Residence

Japanese Cemetery in Broome photo by Mayu Kanamori
Japanese Cemetery in Broome photo by Mayu Kanamori

Date: 29 September 2015

Time: 6pm

Venue:  Fox Lecture Theatre, Arts Building UWA

Parking: P3, off Hackett Entrance 1

Cost: Free, but RSVP essential.




Mayu Kanamori’s most recent work Yasukichi Murakami: Through a Distant Lens is a theatre work about the life of historical photographer Yasukichi Murakami and the modern day search of his missing photographs.

Murakami arrived in Western Australia in 1897 from Japan and lived in Broome as an inventor, entrepreneur and photographer. The day after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour, like all Japanese in Australia, him and his family were arrested and were interned as enemy aliens. He died whilst interned, and his lifetime worth of photographs were subsequently lost. Japanese-Australian photographer and writer Mayu Kanamori went in search of Murakami’s lost photographs, stirring our collective amnesia about the history of the Japanese in Australia.

Whilst discussing the process of creating and writing Yasukichi Murakami: Through a Distant Lens, Mayu Kanamori will introduce her lesser known, yet related work including the Civilian Internment Arts Program in Cowra NSW, where Murakami is buried and her on-going collaborations with the Japanese Indigenous community of Broome who remember Murakami through their oral histories and family photographs.

She will challenge prescribed boundaries of the role of the artist in addressing social history, examine social responsibilities in making ethical choices pertaining to identity, diaspora, and imagined national and ethnic borders, and the explore ways of working with culturally specific stories to make a contribution to the wider community.


This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)

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