Centre for
Asian and

Wed 24th Apr 2024


A China We Can Talk To?

David Ownby

Thu 25th Apr 2024


Games and Disasters: Reading and Discussion with Yoko Tawada

Yoko Tawada

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News & Events

Infos for the start of the summer summer 2024

Dear students, welcome to the Institute for East Asian Art History (IKO)! We look forward to welcoming you again in the 2024 summer semester. At the start of the semester, the IKO team will introduce itself and you will learn more about our courses, special lectures and other events.


Presentation Semester introduction

Save the date: International Symposium on Narrative Art

jobNarrating Japanese Art Histories: Past, Present, Future
June 28–30, 2024

This summer, the IKO hosts the international symposium Narrating Japanese Art Histories: Past, Present, and Future in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of collaboration between Ishibashi Foundation and Heidelberg University. We also honor the academic achievements of Professor Dr. Melanie Trede, whose research focused on narrative art. With a prominent line-up of speakers and round table participants, we hope to garner your interest to join us for this wonderful symposium. Prof. Dr. Melissa McCormick (Harvard University) and Prof. Dr. Takagishi Akira (Tokyo University) will be keynote speakers. The conference will be open to the public, and accessible online via Zoom. Stay tuned for further notice on the program and registration link.

The new LSF: heiCO

All student administration will run via heiCO from the summer term onwards. Students can log in and access their profile with their Uni-ID. Please be aware that all coursework and grades will only be migrated in May 2024. Arrow heiCO
To guide you through the new processes, the university has prepared manuals, which can be accessed here:

Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies

jobAm 13.12.2022 fand die feierliche Eröffnung des Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies (TRCCS) an der CATS-Bibliothek statt. Im Rahmen dieses Kooperations­abkommens mit der National Central Library in Taiwan wird die Ostasienabteilung der CATS-Bibliothek künftig mit jährlich Hunderten Bänden sinologischer Fachliteratur aus Taiwan versorgt und erhält zudem Zugang zu wichtigen Datenbanken. [Mehr...]

New Publication | Lothar Ledderose: China Schreibt Anders

Lothar Ledderose: China Schreibt Anders​Lothar Ledderose
China Schreibt Anders
Stuttgart 2021
Erscheint in der Reihe "Heidelberger Akademische Bibliothek".

In einer Zeit, da China immer wichtiger wird, wird es auch immer wichtiger, China zu verstehen. Viel ist da noch zu tun. Die chinesische Schrift ist das komplizierteste System von Formen, welches die Menschheit geschaffen hat, und ein Alleinstellungsmerkmal der chinesischen Kultur. Eine Analyse dieses Systems lässt die grundlegende Andersartigkeit Chinas verstehen, in Erziehung, Religion und Politik. [More information] | [Rezension Süddeutsche Zeitung]

New Publication | A Companion to Korean Art

J.P. Park, Burglind Jungmann, and Juhyung Rhi (Editors): A Companion to Korean ArtA Companion to Korean Art. Edited by J.P. Park, Burglind Jungmann, and Juhyung Rhi, Wiley-Blackwell 2020
This year the series The Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Art History is expanded to include the first academically researched anthology on the history of Korean art written in English. Our current, eminent scholar of Korean art history, Burglind Jungmann, co-editor of this volume, is not only a graduate of Heidelberg University, but teaches this winter semester 2020/21 a lecture and several seminars on various issues in Korean art history at the IKO.
Korean pop culture has become an international phenomenon in the past few years. The popularity of the nation’s exports—movies, K-pop, fashion, television shows, lifestyle and cosmetics products, to name a few—has never been greater in Western society. Despite this heightened interest in contemporary Korean culture, scholarly Western publications on Korean visual arts are scarce and often outdated. This unique anthology brings together essays by renowned scholars from Korea, the US, and Europe, presenting expert insights and exploring the most recent research in the field.
Insightful chapters discuss Korean art and visual culture from early historical periods to the present. Subjects include the early paintings of Korea, Buddhist architecture, visual art of the late Chosŏn period, postwar Korean Art, South Korean cinema, and more. Several chapters explore the cultural exchange between the Korean peninsula, the Chinese mainland, and the Japanese archipelago, offering new perspectives on Chinese and Japanese art.
The definitive and authoritative reference on the subject, A Companion to Korean Art is indispensable for scholars and academics working in areas of Asian visual arts, university students in Asian and Korean art courses, and general readers interested in the art, culture, and history of Korea. [More Information] [Full access for Heidelberg University members]

Recently reviewed | Jesuitenerbe in Peking

Lianming Wang. Jesuitenerbe in Peking. Sakralbauten und transkulturelle Räume, 1600–1800. Heidelberg, 2020.
Focusing on three Jesuit churches and their related transcultural spaces in Beijing, this volume offers a thorough insight into the global development of Jesuit art and architecture and contributes to the current debate on global art history. Based on a critical revision of the buildings’ histories, it first places its interest in the deconstruction of a glittering, widely circulated “Jesuit myth” – that the construction of their residences and churches was patronized by the Chinese emperors – and further evaluates the social effect of Jesuit topography in the context of urban exploration. The latter is crucial for understanding the choice of identity-granting “architectural modules” in terms of their power mechanism inside the Society of Jesus. In the last two chapters, case studies from Emperor Qianlong’s (r. 1735–1796) court, ranging from Jesuit-related palatial spaces linked to events, to political spaces of negotiation, and to the emperor’s personal spaces of representation, are used to illustrate how aesthetic and intellectual implications were determined by actors and the public and were in turn instrumentalized for the purpose of the Qing political agenda and the subject-formation of the Manchu elites. [more information]

“Wang’s book offers such a wide range of interesting and useful information on this fascinating period and the transfer of knowledge initiated by the Jesuits that it deserves to be essential reading for everyone dealing with this subject.” Niklas Leverenz in: The Burlington Magazine, 162, 10/2020, 906-907

“[…] Wang’ book promises to advance comparative and interdisciplinary studies on the topic in a stimulating and creative fashion… a broader readership can appreciate this splendid volume for the high quality of factual information, intellectual penetration and historical and systematic reflection.” Hang Lin in: Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, Neue Serie, Nr. 40, Herbst 2020, 58-60

“Wang’s monograph is of course a splendid example of decentering Europe by offering the reader his impressive knowledge of both European and Chinese sacral architecture. While European (and specific Jesuit) decorative and architectural elements were exported to China, Jesuit artistic production itself was deeply influenced by Chinese demand and taste.” R. Po-chia Hsia in: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 8: Issue 3, 04/2021, 490–500

New Publication | Xu Bing: Beyond the Book from the Sky

Fraser, Sarah E. and Yu-Chieh Li. Xu Bing: After the Book from the Sky. Singapore: Springer, 2020.
(eBook / Hardcover)

This book takes Xu Bing’s practices after his legendary Book from the Sky as a starting point to assess changes in the social and cultural conditions for art-making and the aesthetic turns in the development of contemporary Chinese art in the past 30 years. The volume contains transcripts of Prof. Xu’s lectures as the 2015 Heidelberg University IKO Heinz Götze Distinguished Professor and eight additional art historical essays. These explore themes such as Xu’s animal works, audience participation, new ink, prints, realism, socialist spectacle, and word play. A critical question addressed in these texts is what carries art to a global level beyond regional histories and cultural symbols. The authors critically re-examining art practices in their multi-layered context. Can Xu Bing’s trajectory be seen as a micro-history of post Cultural Revolution Chinese art? How does the Xu Bing phenomenon relate to other contemporary art practices and discourses? [Online version]
"Absorbing critical essays on contemporary Chinese aesthetics addressing the social context and philosophical concerns that underlie Xu Bing’s key works. The authors analyze Xu’s art, shedding light on the tangled history of socialism and neoliberalism in the Post-Mao period."

--Prof. Dr. Lothar Ledderose, Senior Professor, Institute of East Asian Art, Universität Heidelberg

"Auf ein Akademisches Viertel mit..." features Melanie Trede

jobIn the Podcast series "Auf ein Akademisches Viertel mit..." of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Melanie Trede talks about Japanese hand scrolls, brainstorming with students and how closely nature, art and culture are interwoven in Japan. [Listen...]

Ausstellung | Beziehungen und Verwicklungen

Ausstellung | Beziehungen und Verwicklungen. Asien und Deutschland in den Weltkriegen Beziehungen und Verwicklungen.
Asien und Deutschland in den Weltkriegen

15. Mai bis 31. Oktober 2017
Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Ende 2018 wird das Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS) auf dem Campus Bergheim einziehen. Zum CATS gehören das Südasien-Institut, das Zentrum für Ostasienwissenschaften, das Institut für Ethnologie sowie das Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies. Schon jetzt zeigen Institute und Bibliotheken des CATS in einer gemeinsamen Ausstellung von Mitte Mai bis Ende Oktober 2017 in vier Vitrinen im Foyer der UB unter anderem eine Auswahl aus ihren Beständen zu Asien und Deutschland in den Weltkriegen: Dokumente zu den Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Ostasien von 1931 bis 1945, zu Indien in den beiden Weltkriegen, sowie ein Portrait des Heidelberger Begründers der Ostasiatischen Kunstgeschichte im deutschsprachigen Raum, Dietrich Seckel (1910–2007), aus der Zeit seines Japanaufenthalts zwischen 1936 und 1942.

Arrow Webseite zur Ausstellung

Online Archiv | Dietrich Seckel – Fotografien aus Japan

Online Archiv | Dietrich Seckel. Fotografien von Japan aus den Jahren 1936 – 1942 Zum 10. Todesjahr von Dietrich Seckel

Die Etablierung des Faches Kunstgeschichte Ostasiens in Deutschland ist eng verbunden mit der Lebensleistung von Dietrich Seckel (1910-2007), der sich während seines Aufenthaltes in Japan als Deutschlehrer zwischen 1936 und 1947 mit der Kunst und Architektur Japans auseinandersetzte und nach seiner Rückkehr 1948 in Heidelberg habilitierte – damals in einem noch nicht institutionalisierten Fach. 1965 wurde für ihn der erste Lehrstuhl eingerichtet. Nach seinem Tod im Jahr 2007, erhielt das Institut die fast eintausend Amateurfotos, die Seckel selbst zwischen Ende 1936 und 1942 während seiner Lehrtätigkeit in Japan aufnahm. Diese wurden digitalisiert und sind nun öffentlich zugänglich. Die Alltags-, Natur- und Architekturaufnahmen, die diesen Bestand bestimmen, enthüllen einerseits einen Teil seines persönlichen Werdegangs und eröffnen anderseits einen ungewöhnlichen und beeindruckenden Blick auf Japan während der Vor- und Kriegszeit. In einer Masterarbeit vom Jahr 2016 hat Anne-Laure Bodin historische Hintergründe und Aspekte der Fotos analysiert und eingeordnet.

Arrow Dietrich Seckel Fotoarchiv
Arrow Anne-Laure Bodin: Japan durch die Augen eines deutschen Kunsthistorikers gesehen: Die Fotografien von Dietrich Seckel, 1936-1942
Responsible: SH
Latest Revision: 2024-04-17
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