Symposium—Communities of Images: Japanese Motion Image Artists in the 1960s-1970s and the Asian American Independent Film Movement


On Friday, May 31, 2024, the University of the Arts, a primary presenting partner for the “Community of Images” exhibition and related programs, abruptly announced its imminent closure, to take place on Friday, June 7, 2024.

For the latest information, please refer to the exhibition website.

As part of the opening events for the “Community of Images” exhibition, Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and Collaborative Cataloging Japan are hosting a one-day symposium at the University of Pennsylvania on Monday, June 17, 2024. The symposium is co-presented by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Asian American Studies Program at Penn.

Monday, June 17, 2024
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania / Google Maps >>

Admission to this program is FREE and open to the public.
Advance ticket reservations are requested. Reserve Tickets >>

This program is presented as part of the upcoming exhibition “Community of Images: Japanese Moving Image Artists in the US, 1960s–1970s” which is scheduled to take place June 14–August 9, 2024, at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Visit the Exhibition Website >>

Program Description

In addition to presenting original research from the curatorial team that shaped the “Community of Images” exhibition, this symposium will feature a roundtable panel related to Asian American independent film and media arts movements that developed during the same time period among Asian diasporic communities in the US. While exploring these contemporaneous Asian American filmmakers and video artists, the objective is not to link them or their works directly to the Japanese artists but rather discuss them in parallel as contemporaries who emerged from the same generation and were simultaneously navigating questions of race and self-identity through the context of media.

Confirmed Presenters

  • Ann Adachi-Tasch (Collaborative Cataloging Japan)
  • Rob Buscher (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Peter X. Feng (University of Delaware)
  • Go Hirasawa (Meiji-Gakuin University)
  • Nina Horisaki-Christens (Columbia University)
  • Julian Ross (Leiden University)

Program Schedule

  • 9:30–10:00am
    Registration and breakfast
  • 10:00am–12:00pm
    Panel 1—Community of Images: Research process towards the exhibition
  • 12:00–1:00pm
  • 1:00–3:00pm
    Panel 2—Asian American Independent Film Movement


“Community of Images” is co-presented by Collaborative Cataloging Japan and Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. Major support has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Toshiba International Foundation, Pola Art Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Japan Foundation.


Cover Image: Detail of photo documentation, Ko Nakajima, Ryūdōtai Projector, 1969 © Ko Nakajima.


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