Helena Capkova

Completed PhD - Interpreting Japan : Central European Architecture and Design 1920 – 1940


Aus Japan 1927

Central Europe has historically been an area with rich cultural networks and significant centres such as Prague, Berlin or Vienna. These centres were cultural melting pots with multilingual and multicultural environments accommodating a mixture of nationalities. The art conversations and exchanges there were transnational and even included non-European participants, such as the Chinese, Turkish, Indian and the Japanese. Helena`s preliminary study shows that Japan played one of the key roles as a source of inspiration for a large group of artists and theoreticians who took active part in international discourses.
Helena`s PhD. research focuses on the perception of Japanese art and aesthetics in Central Europe and on the incorporation of that perception in architecture and design during the period of 1920 – 1940. For this study the area of Central Europe covers mainly Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria. Her aim is to investigate the nature of the transnational dialogue between different cultures such as Japan and Central Europe and to examine the dynamics of its communication Also, the analysis of how the perception of Japanese art and aesthetics of the period was interpreted or translated into the architecture and design is included in this research. Helena`s PhD. project was recently awarded a full AHRC funding (2008 – 2011).

Related Projects

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    Forgotten Japonisme

    Led by TrAIN Director Professor Toshio Watanabe, Forgotten Japonisme was a major three year research project funded by the AHRC. Between October 2007 and October 2010, this project explored a previously neglected period in the study of Western attitudes towards Japanese art: from the 1920s to the 1950s.
    Find out more about Forgotten Japonisme

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