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Public Lectures 2007

Grand Prize 2007: Ashis Nandy

Title
Cultural diversity has a negative side. Even so, it should be protected.
Data
September 15, 2007 (13:00-15:00)
Venue
ACROS Fukuoka
Coordinator
Prof. Toshiaki Ohji (Ritsumeikan Univ.)
Panelist
Yoshiko Haga (Representative, CESA)

Followed by a panel discussion with Yoshiko Haga, from an NGO working on international cooperation in India. A packed 300-seater hall was full of eager questions.

Keynote Speech

Cultural diversity has a negative side. Even so, it should be protected.

Although colonies are no more, colonialism has not died yet. It exists as the idea that the present for developing countries is the same as the past of developed countries, and that the future for developing societies is the same as the present of developed countries. This could hijack our future by taking away the developing countries’ own visions of a desirable future.

As seen typically in the disappearance of minority languages, we are rapidly losing our diverse traditions and cultures while following globalization, which does not care about the‘past’. We no longer have the sense of loss, either.

To acknowledge cultural diversity means to accept alien cultures, understand these and utilize them as your own. This is not always fun. Although cross-cultural communication is sometimes uneasy and uncomfortable, only through such interactions can we share our expressions and sensitivities, in a cultural context which will eventually lead us to solve problems in a way impossible within a framework of one ideology. As modern Japanese novels and films show, great culture has been created in conflicts.

One aspect of culture can be oppressive and violent. Sometimes violence and ideology are well disguised. To be able to keep a critical eye on them is also a power of culture. Culture, and cultural diversity, allows us to be skeptical of the transient, and helps us have a long-term vision.

Panel Discussion

Prof. Toshiaki Ohji: Local governments in Japan are also currently facing the challenge of symbiotic existence of diverse cultures or respect for cultural minorities. As Prof. Nandy said, ‘these are sometimes uncomfortable’, but India has had many successful experiences. Whereas in Japan, we have tended to incorporate others in our own evaluation system. Therefore we should learn from India how to create a new framework through mutual exchanges.

Yoshiko Haga: Our NGO’s mission is to eradicate sexual abuse of children, and we support the education of children from Mumbai’s sex district. We have met people who are proud of their traditional culture, which made us think that physical wealth and spiritual wealth were different. In the globalization era, cultural exchange based on individual relationships is even more important.

Question: How is poverty related to economic growth? Will education
provide the solution?

Prof. Nandy: As Ms. Haga has witnessed, poverty cannot be solved by economic growth, even worse, it has produced more poverty. Strong political initiative is more effective than education, but politicians seem to be keener on nuclear armaments.

Prof. Ohji: Prof. Nandy made a strong objection against India’s nuclear armament. An anthropologist, O. Lewis once said that poverty was a form of culture which has both complicated cultural elements and economical conditions. To disentangle this
complexity is vital, and ‘exchange’ will play an important part in doing so.

Academic Prize 2007: Srisakra Vallibhotama

Title
A Glimpse of Life in the Ancient Cities of Thailand
Date
September 15, 2007 (16:00-18:00)
Venue
ACROS Fukuoka
Panelist
Emeritus Prof. Yoneo Ishii (Kyoto Univ., FAC Prize laureate ’94)
Panelist
Prof. Toshikatsu Ito (Aichi Univ.)
Coordinator
Prof. Eiji Nitta (Kagoshima Univ.)

Two leading scholars from Japan and Thailand, and some younger researchers in this field revealed a corner of the ancient world to 240 people with the help of many photographs and maps of the ancient ruins.

Keynote Speech

The Foundation and Development of Thai States in Antiquity

Many have believed that Dvaravati was the early kingdom of ancient Thailand from 7th to 10th century AD. However, based on my fieldwork findings, I have concluded that there was no centralized ‘kingdom’, but instead, there were several powerful states at the critical locations for water and land transportation. They were influenced by India and Khmer, and flourished by trading. They did form a loose union through cultural events and royal marriages, but a ‘kingdom’ did not appear before Ayutthaya in the 15th century AD.

Panel Discussion

Ishii: In historical studies of Southeast Asia, the conventional approach has been to divide the region between the ‘continent’ and the ‘islands’. Prof. Srisakra’s idea is entirely new in regarding the sea as the key to create power. That is, from seaborne trade emerged ports or port polities, which became political and commercial centers, and then extended inland.

Ito: On the archaeological sites of ancient Pyu in Myanmar, silver coins of various types have been found. Some were found in almost all the places such as Champa, Dvaravati and Pyu. Others were limited to only two sites. Some cities had almost
all types of coins. All this shows that various trade routes existed, and the silver coins were used for purchases.

Nitta: Now we understand that the Dvaravati era was important time in Thai history. How aware of it are Thai people today?

Srisakra: Most Thai people don’t know about Dvaravati. Even in school textbooks, Sukhothai dynasty in 13th century seems to be the beginning of the Thai history. This is incorrect because it suggests that Thailand is a country of one race and one nation. Various city states had existed before, and I would like to emphasize that these states were connected by a wide network from coasts to inland, and from present Vietnam to Myanmar. I would like to reconstruct Thai history on this basis.

Arts and Culture Prize 2007: JU Ming

Title
Ju Ming Special Exhibition
Date
September 16, 2007 (13:30-15:30)
Venue
Fukuoka Asian Art Museum
Commentary
Kouichi Yasunaga (Fukuoka Asia art museum advisor)

At ‘Ju Ming Special Exhibition’ in Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, in front of his own works, transported specially from Taiwan, Ju Ming talked about his artistic spirit. He also showed several dozen slides of his work which he could not bring. 120 people, some of whom could not get seats, asked many questions about his ageless and vigorous creativity.

Artist’s Talk

Ju Ming Special Exhibition

Question: You said that inspiration, discovery and sensitivity are vital for the creative production of art. Are these attainable by selftraining?

Ju Ming: ‘Inspiration’ might be important for the beginners, but is not necessary to those who have reached the top. Numerous things are required to complete art works, and ‘inspiration’ alone is not enough. I always have too many ideas to shape
them into art.

Question: Could you tell us how to maintain your passion for work in your daily life? Do you have a credo?

Ju Ming: I am busy everyday. Sadly I’m too busy to make my own cup of tea. In fact my entire time is devoted to work except for the time of sleeping and eating. I think I was born to work.

Question: What is your next theme?

Ju Ming: After ‘Armed Forces Series’ and ‘Police Series’, I am now working on ‘Scientists Series’. Can you visualize the faces of the brilliant scientists who created the four greatest Chinese inventions, like gunpowder and the compass? Probably not.

So I thought I should do something to help children learn about these achievements more intimately. There is no end to what I want to make. I must include the brave people who worked heroically at the time of SARS in ‘Heroes Series’.

Again there is no end. I have a long waiting list of ideas to work on.

Artist’s Talk

Ju Ming Special Exhibition

Question: You said that inspiration, discovery and sensitivity are vital for the creative production of art. Are these attainable by selftraining?

Ju Ming: ‘Inspiration’ might be important for the beginners, but is not necessary to those who have reached the top. Numerous things are required to complete art works, and ‘inspiration’ alone is not enough. I always have too many ideas to shape
them into art.

Question: Could you tell us how to maintain your passion for work in your daily life? Do you have a credo?

Ju Ming: I am busy everyday. Sadly I’m too busy to make my own cup of tea. In fact my entire time is devoted to work except for the time of sleeping and eating. I think I was born to work.

Question: What is your next theme?

Ju Ming: After ‘Armed Forces Series’ and ‘Police Series’, I am now working on ‘Scientists Series’. Can you visualize the faces of the brilliant scientists who created the four greatest Chinese inventions, like gunpowder and the compass? Probably not.

So I thought I should do something to help children learn about these achievements more intimately. There is no end to what I want to make. I must include the brave people who worked heroically at the time of SARS in ‘Heroes Series’.

Again there is no end. I have a long waiting list of ideas to work on.

Arts and Culture Prize 2007: KIM Duk-soo

Titel
World of Bursting Sounds and Rhythms
Date
September 16, 2007 (16:30-18:00)
Venue
IMS Hall
commentary
Tomoaki Fujii (Director, International Institute for Culture)

Public Lecture by Mr. KIM Duk-soo was held in IMS Hall on September 16.

Traditional Korean Music in Progress

Changgu Solo

Shinmyung: from a rhythm beyond technique

Pangut

Dance, beat, spin and jump.  It’s more like ‘improvisation’ than ‘performance’

Sanjo

Mrs. Kim Ri-hae is a well-known dancer

In addition, in "Samulnori",  the commentary was, so to speak, carried out with a reinvention of the Renaissance, the folk entertainment" than Fujii, too.

Traditional Korean Music in Progress

Changgu Solo

Shinmyung: from a rhythm beyond technique

Pangut

Dance, beat, spin and jump.  It’s more like ‘improvisation’ than ‘performance’

Sanjo

Mrs. Kim Ri-hae is a well-known dancer

In addition, in "Samulnori",  the commentary was, so to speak, carried out with a reinvention of the Renaissance, the folk entertainment" than Fujii, too.

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