Seminar: Japanese Artists and Art Policy in Japanese-occupied Indonesia and Singapore, 1942-1945




About the Seminar

Throughout the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia from 1940 to 1945, approximately 300 Japanese and local artists were sent to the battlefront. This was part of the Japanese government’s policy of utilising the arts as a tool for the military campaign in the region. The collaboration between the army and these prominent Japanese and local artists gave birth to new art projects. This presentation will explore the role of Japanese artists and art policy in Indonesia and Singapore during the Japanese occupation from 1942-1945. It will examine the journey and works of Japanese artists employed in Indonesia and Singapore, such as Tsuguharu Fujita, Tsuruta Gorō, Saburō Miyamoto, Kenichi Nakamura, Kenichi, Koiso Ryōhei and Takashi Kōno among others. It will also address the decades-long debate over the discontinuities in art history caused by the Japanese occupation. Did occupation radically change the course of Indonesian and Singaporean art history and how much did Japanese artists assist to foster a “national art”?

About the Speaker
Mr Antariksa is an independent researcher and co-founder of KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre, a research collective focusing on critical knowledge production, research-action, and vernacular education. Mr Antariksa is the author of Tuan Tanah Kawin Muda: Hubungan LEKRA-Seni Rupa 1950-1965 [Tuan Tanah Kawin Muda: The relation between art and the Institute of People’s Culture 1950-1965] (CAF/IVAA, 2005). His primary research is on art and mobility of ideas in Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia. He is now working on his new book Art collectivism in Japanese-occupied Indonesia (Kyushu University Press, 2017). Mr Antariksa is an Artist-in-Residence in the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore Residencies Programme. He won the Global South fellowship at Le Collège d’études mondiales, Paris, under the supervision of Françoise Vergès and Mélanie Bouteloup, to engage in a research on the Japanese war artists (sensō sakusen kirokuga) in the Parisian art scene, 1914-1939.

To register, please fill in this form and email to by Tuesday, 27 September 2016.


Sep 28 2016


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2