The Journal of Transcultural Studies 2021-03-05T17:54:50+01:00 Editiorial Team / Redaktion Open Journal Systems <p><em>The Journal of Transcultural Studies</em> is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal committed to promoting the knowledge and research of transculturality in all disciplines. It is published by the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University.</p> Transculturation and Contemporary Artistic Collaboration: Pushing the Boundaries of Histories, Epistemologies, and Ethics 2021-03-03T14:39:18+01:00 Franziska Koch <p>This contribution introduces the themed issue "How We Work Together: Ethics, Histories, and Epistemologies of Artistic Collaboration," and summarises the articles that appear within. </p> 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Franziska Koch Stitching Critical Citizenship during Mexico’s War on Drugs 2020-12-18T11:33:54+01:00 Katia Olalde <p>In this article, I focus on a set of collectively stitched handkerchiefs commemorating victims of Mexico’s “war on drugs.” I propose that these embroideries completed in relays can be conceived as the tangible manifestation of work done by collaboration networks articulated by the response of the participants to the call for a critical exercise of citizenship. I posit that the word “citizenship” can be read either as domestic citizenry, that is, as exhorting Mexican nationals to commit to the political struggle against violence and impunity; or as global citizenship, that is, as promoting a responsibility towards and a sense of interconnectedness with a common humanity. In both cases, the call for a critical exercise of citizenship expresses a concern to promote and act in accordance with an ethics of nonviolence, informed by the principles of indigenous communal polities and by the longstanding connection between embroidery and feminine moral virtue imported into New Spain during the sixteenth century.</p> 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Katia Olalde “Unsettling” the Forest as a Canadian Nationalist Imaginary: Consent, Consultation, and (Re)conciliation in Leila Sujir’s Forest! 2020-12-18T11:37:49+01:00 Haema Sivanesan <p>Leila Sujir’s ongoing stereoscopic 3D and Virtual Reality media art project, <em>Forest!</em> is situated in the old growth rainforests of the South Walbran Valley of Vancouver Island, on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Pacheedaht First Nation. Taking place more than a century and a half since the settling of Vancouver Island by British colonizers, which was soon followed by successive waves of immigration by Chinese, Japanese, South Asian, and other laborers, Sujir’s project comes up against the effects and consequences of settler colonialism in the forests of Vancouver Island, and reveals the complexities and paradoxes of Canada’s mandate for (re)conciliation with Indigenous peoples.</p> <p>This paper explores Sujir’s process of artistic collaboration, works with a range of Indigenous, community, and artworld stakeholders, and draws on a heuristic methodology to navigate complex community and inter-racial dynamics. Sujir adopts a methodology of person-to-person conciliation as a means to mitigate Indigenous–settler tensions, developing this approach into a methodology of friendship as a means by which to secure a transparent working process that is accountable to the Pacheedaht First Nation. This in turn enables the artist to develop new transcultural understandings and a new picturing of the forest. This paper closely examines Sujir’s process in the development of two works—<em>Forest Breath</em> (2018) and <em>Aerial</em> (2019)—detailing both the difficulty and the importance of artistic collaboration in working towards an ideology of (re)conciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada.</p> 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Haema Sivanesan Contested Sites, Contested Bodies: Post-3.11 Collaborations, Agency, and Metabolic Ecologies in Japanese Art 2020-12-18T11:31:14+01:00 Theresa Deichert <p>The cataclysmic triple disaster in Japan of March 2011 prompted Japanese artists to respond to diverse post-disaster needs. Their responses often involved collaborative practices. This paper argues that if we are to fully understand such collaborations in works of art dealing with the radioactive contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, we must attend to collaborations with agents beyond humans. The disaster and the resulting contamination brought into focus the interconnected and interdependent ecological network of humans, non-humans, and the environment. By analyzing two artworks that include potentially radioactive foodstuffs,<em> Flow in Red</em> (2014) by Kyun-Chome and <em>Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?</em> (2014) by United Brothers, this paper explores how artists have mobilized radioactivity, or objects penetrated by it, and collaborated with these non-human actors. Advancing from a transcultural perspective and building upon Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory, the article assumes an ecological approach to art that pushes beyond cultural categorizations and pays attention to non-human agency. Examining artworks in this way unravels post-disaster social and political concerns, such as distributions of power, anxiety over contamination, and discrimination against disaster victims.</p> 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Theresa Deichert Deterritorializing Chinese Calligraphy: Wang Dongling and Martin Wehmer’s Visual Dialogue (2010) 2021-02-25T15:03:11+01:00 Shao-Lan Hertel <p>This article investigates an artistic collaboration between the pioneering modernist Chinese calligrapher Wang Dongling and German conceptual painter Martin Wehmer. The project was hosted at the China Academy of Art (CAA) in 2010, with Wehmer as a visitor from Berlin’s University of the Arts. The artists co-produced <em>Visual Dialogue</em>, a comic-like composition of painted and written speech bubbles. I examine <em>Visual Dialogue</em> in order to reveal its incentives, conditions, limitations, and potential, as a collaborative project realized under institutional tutelage. Informed by critical contemporary discourses on Chinese art in a global context, picture theory, comics studies, and translation studies, I explore <em>Visual Dialogue</em>’s multiple textual, scriptural, and pictorial elements, alongside related epistemological issues. I argue that the artwork is polyvalent, because it is conditioned by multiple, culturally specific aesthetic and semiotic systems. My discussion ultimately aims to expose the transcultural significance of this collaboration, which is relevant to the writing of world art history, and thereby contributes to a deterritorialization of “Chinese calligraphy” in its prevalent conception as an essentialist-exceptionalist discursive field in mainland China.</p> 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Shao-Lan Hertel ROCI China and the Prospects of "Post-West" Contemporaneity 2020-12-18T11:41:34+01:00 Paul Gladston <p>This article reassesses the critical significance of Robert Rauschenberg’s collaboration with artisans and government institutions in the People’s Republic of China as part of the Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange (ROCI), which culminated in the exhibition <em>ROCI China</em> at the China Art Gallery, Beijing, in 1985. Artworks by Rauschenberg showcased in <em>ROCI China</em> have been internationally upheld as seminal contributions to the establishment of a cosmopolitan and technically diverse modern/contemporary art in the PRC. The works bring together Western/ized post/modernism with localized Chinese cultural thought and practice. The present article describes actions and events related to the staging of <em>ROCI China</em>, and then situates the exhibition in relation to an imbricating succession of modernizing artworlds particular to China during the twentieth century. In that light, a case is made for the interpretation of <em>ROCI China</em> as part of an extended relay of mutually constitutive transcultural interchanges between the artworlds of China, and Euro-America and other Western/ized spaces. The article thus demonstrates that the impact of <em>ROCI China</em> was subject to the diffractive effects of multilateral appropriations-translations and parallaxes pertaining to divergent Chinese and Western/ized discursive perspectives on the significance of art. The intersectional combination of these forces can be understood, by turns, to deconstruct the supposedly seminal standing of <em>ROCI China,</em> while also reinforcing a historically dominant cultural exceptionalism in the PRC, which is now amplified by the intensely interconnected and conspicuously factional condition of “post-West” contemporaneity. The article concludes by projecting <em>ROCI China</em> beyond this seeming paradox, as the index of a multi-dimensional non-synthetic criticality resistant to Chinese and Western authoritarianism.</p> 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Paul Gladston Cover and Front Matter 2021-03-04T14:52:53+01:00 Sophie Florence 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sophie Florence Editorial Note 2021-03-03T14:26:08+01:00 Monica Juneja 2021-03-05T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Monica Juneja