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Robert Platt: Center for Japanese Studies Noon Lecture Series

October 28, 2013

Robert Platt will present The Phantom Hut: Landscape Appreciation and Hermetic Tendencies in Japan and the West as part of the Center for Japanese Studies Noon Lecture Series, Thursday, Oct. 31, from 12:10 to 1:00PM at the School of Social Work Building, Room 1636.

For a large proportion of us, our perception of landscape today is built from models invented inside the mind by artistic production, individual memory and collective culture. In addition, it is the abundance, the complexity and most of all the speed that we now view the world that makes it particularly difficult for us to really ‘see’ nature as no more than a fleeting apparition or visual spectacle. As in Plato’s cave allegory we content ourselves with the illusions of reality and as our lives become more intertwined with technology our constructions of multiple realities increase.

Recent research trips to the ancient Kumano trails of Japan and the wilderness of the Arctic has resulted in a new body of work I refer to as the Phantom Hut series. This theme is a continuation of a long tradition in both Japan and the West that links Landscape with introversion and solitude. This ongoing project explores the phenomenon of detachment and simulation through integrating large-scale oil paintings, architectural and optical installations. This lecture maps the context and creative results of my attempt to present new approaches to the visualization of nature/landscape and interiority.

About the Speaker:
Robert Platt (b. London, England) has an MA (Painting) from The Royal College of Art, London and a Ph.D. from Kyoto City University of Arts, in Kyoto, Japan. His work has been exhibited at galleries internationally.  He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan, where he teaches painting.

Robert Platt: Center for Japanese Studies Noon Lecture Series