News

Yuko Kikuchi awarded a Terra Foundation Senior Fellowship in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)

A huge congratulations to Yuko Kikuchi who has been awarded a Terra Foundation Senior Fellowship in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). During this residential fellowship period from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016 in Washington DC, Yuko will work on the project, ‘Russel Wright and Asia – Studies on the American design aid and transnational design history during the Cold War’. This is an investigation of the work of American designer Russel Wright (1904-76) and the US State Department’s International Cooperation Administration (ICA), which sponsored design intervention in East and Southeast Asia during the 1950s-60s. Wright and his team of designers and business managers were commissioned to take on regional projects in Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong with the aim of restyling and redesigning indigenous local handicrafts for the American export market. Funded by National University of Singapore, the Rockefeller Archive Center, the British Academy/Leverhulme and ASEASUK-ECAF, Yuko has already conducted regional archival and field research in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong at various times over the last seven years. Therefore, this fellowship will provide Yuko with an opportunity to finalise her research with US sources as well as time to focus on writing a first draft for her monograph. This project will bring out the largely unknown design activities of Russel Wright after 1950, while offering an Asian perspective on the emerging field of the Cold War design history. Informed by recent postcolonial cultural studies, it will also enhance our understanding of the interdependence of American and Asian design development during the Cold War period, by introducing a new trans/national framework for design history studies.

Monday 06 April, 2015