I study Meiji period photographic objects, processes and technologies to understand their context in the larger history of photography, and preserve them more effectively. In photographic objects such as The MacLean Orihon or the Silver Mizunotype, different cultures and aesthetic sensibilities come together to create something that couldn't exist before. Because the histories of Japanese photography have only just begun to be told, I aim to aid in the identification, conservation, preservation and study of these uncommon objects through my research.
The defining experience that transformed the direction of my cultural pursuits came towards the end of my B.F.A. studies. A lecture by Prof. Michael J. Farrell at The Detroit Institute of Arts introduced me to 侘寂 and it changed my life. I rushed to the library to read about Tea from Okakura, who then told me of Sen No Rikyu. Before the year was out, I packed my bags for Osaka to try and understand The Way.
For nearly 12 years I cultivated my interests in Japanese art, culture and history in Osaka. At first I studied all I could about 侘寂 and the traditional arts and culture. A few years later I started a gallery where I worked with scores of artists, curators and collectors spanning the breadth of the Japanese art scene. After earning my MA in photo preservation, I now care for the Asian Art and Culture collection at The Royal Ontario Museum, and research its transcultural photographic objects.
You'll find me communing with fellow photohistory nerds, and staying abreast of the latest developments in photographic history research, conservation, preservation, digital applications, imaging tech and collections management at conferences and other gatherings.
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