KATSUSHIKA Oei (Ōi) is not a household name. Her father, however, is renowned as one of the greatest masters of art — Hokusai. Brought up assisting Hokusai with his trade, Oei learned all the techniques of painting ukiyo-e, had access to the inner circle of artists in Edo, and had opportunities to showcase her skills time and time again, particularly in the portrayal of women.
Over time, Oei’s biology and her relationship with her father obscured her immense talent, and she has remained in the shadows of history. In this joint presentation hosted by the Japan Foundation, Toronto and The Japan Society Canada, novelist Ms. Katherine Govier and art historian Dr. Rosina Buckland (the British Museum) will discuss Oei’s skills, her contributions to Hokusai’s lifework, and why she deserves to be celebrated as an artist in her own right.
The discussion will be followed by a live Q+A moderated by Ms. Deanna Horton, Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
- This is an exclusively online event. Registration is required. A link to the talk will be sent to the registered email address 24 hours prior to the start of the event.
Katherine Govier’s most recent novel is The Three Sisters Bar & Hotel. Her previous novel, The Ghost Brush, about the daughter of the Japanese printmaker Hokusai, was published in Japan and worldwide. An earlier novel, Creation, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has won the Toronto Book Award and Canada’s Findley-Engel Award for a mid-career writer (1997). In 2018 she was honoured for Excellence in the Arts by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. In 2019 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
Active in her profession, and always committed to raising the voices of marginalized women, Katherine has been President of PEN Canada and Chair of The Writers’ Trust. She co-founded the national schools writing program Writers in Electronic Residence and more recently founded, directed and is Board Chair of The Shoe Project, a writing and public speaking workshops for immigrant and refugee women.
Katherine was born in Edmonton, Alberta and attended The University of Alberta and York University. She has two adult children, Robin and Emily, and two grandchildren. With her partner Nick Rundall, a retired publisher, she divides her time between Toronto and Canmore, Alberta, in the Rocky Mountains. Her upcoming novel again features Katsushika Oei, woman artist of the floating world, who rises from her unknown grave to discover what happened to her art during the Meiji era.
Photograph by Phil Wilkinson, National Museums Scotland
Rosina Buckland is Curator of the Japanese Collections at the British Museum. She read Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge and after graduating worked in Japan as a translator. She received a PhD in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and worked at the British Museum for several years before moving to the National Museum of Scotland, and later the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. Her primary research area is pictorial art of the nineteenth century, with a focus on Chinese-inspired culture. Her publications include Shunga: Erotic Art in Japan (2010) and Painting Nature for the Nation: Taki Katei and the Challenges to Sinophile Culture in Meiji Japan (2013). During 2019 she guest-curated a special exhibition of drawings by Taki Katei at the World Museum, Liverpool. She is currently writing a book on Meiji-era art.
Deanna Horton’s foreign service career in Asia spanned a total of twelve years in Japan, including as Deputy Head of Mission at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, and also as Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. As a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, she has led a digital mapping project on Canada’s footprint in Asia and related research on technology multinationals. Ms. Horton is a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and a Canadian Global Affairs Institute Fellow, writing on economic and trade policy issues with a focus on Asia. She is on the executive of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Bishop White Committee in support of the ROM’s Asian collections. Deanna Horton received a Diploma in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Bologna Center, a M.A. (International Affairs) from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and a B.A. (Hons) from McGill University. She also spent two years studying the Japanese language and Japan at the U.S. State Department Foreign Service Institute in Yokohama, Japan.
Register from here: https://jftor.org/event/govier-and-buckland/#registration
Recording of the program is available here.