• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Art History
  • Areas of interest Art History, Non Language Asian Studies, Visual Arts, Asian Studies, Creative Arts

This course introduces students to the development of modernism in Indian, Indonesian and Japanese art. Whereas the dominant discourse of art history from a Euro-American perspective tends to consign non-western modernist art to a marginal status and treats it as derivative, this course argues that modernism in particular Asian countries follows trajectories that are regionally specific and culturally diverse, responding to political, technological and social transformations. At the same time, the course addresses the complex interrelations between these non-western modernisms and the development of Euro-American modernism.

Concentrating on a century of artistic practices from the later nineteenth century onwards, the course will offer students an introduction to visual practices, historical approaches and theoretical formulations relating to this material. Colonial and postcolonial histories of art, as well as relations between art practice and nationhood will form the core of the inquiry.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate sound knowledge of major trajectories of modernist art in India, Indonesia and Japan, c. 1860-1960.
  2. Present sophisticated analysis of the work of significant artists in formal and contextual terms.
  3. Demonstrate thorough understanding of historical, political and aesthetic issues that relate to individual artists, periods or movements.
  4. Demonstrate thorough understanding of major theoretical issues that underpin the work of Asian modernist artists.
  5. Present thoroughly researched and sophisticated oral and written discussions pertaining to the course material.

Indicative Assessment

Oral Presentation including submission of PowerPoint Slides/presentation notes, 12 minutes (30%) Learning Outcomes 2-5
Essay, 4500 words (60%) Learning Outcomes 1-5
Participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-4

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: one 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks (a total of 3 hours contact per teaching week)
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARTV2052, ARTV6105 or ARTH2169.

Preliminary Reading

Asian modernism: diverse development in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand,
Tokyo: Japan Foundation Asia Center, 1995.
Clark, John, ed., Modernity in Asian Art, Sydney: Wild Peony, 1993.
Clark, John, Modern Asian Art, Sydney: Craftsman House, 1998.
Fischer, Joseph, ed., Modern Indonesian art : three generations of tradition and
change 1945-1990. Jakarta: Panitia Pameran KIAS ; New York : Festival of
Indonesia, 1990.
Kapur, Geeta, When Was Modernism: Essays on Contemporary Cultural Practice in
India, New Delhi: Tulika, 2000.
Menzies, Jackie, ed., Modern Boy Modern Girl: Modernity in Japanese Art 1910-
1935, Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1998.

Available on the course WATTLE site.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4635 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View

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