Forthcoming Events and News

Third Thursday Lecture

SISJAC Third Thursday Lecture

Every Third Thursday of the month, the Sainsbury Institute hosts a lecture on a topic related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments).

Every Third Thursday of the month, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures hosts a lecture on a topic related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments). Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential. To book a seat email us at or fax 01603 625011 up to two days before the lecture stating your name, number of seats required and a contact number. The lecture will be held at the Weston Room, Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4DH. The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Yakult and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.

For more information on the lectures and to book seats:


20 November 2014

Applied Aesthetics: Nurturing Craft Innovation and Beauty in Edo-period Japan

Professor Suzuki Kazuyoshi
National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

About the Lecture

At this month’s lecture, Professor Suzuki Kazuyoshi will give the first of his three-part lectures on the expansion of education, discovery, science and the arts in the Edo period (1615-1868), as well as providing an examination of craft innovation during the period. By the 18th century in Japan, literacy and numeracy were increasingly perceived as ‘essential tools for worldly success’. During the Edo period, regional initiatives encouraged schooling regardless of social rank with educational facilities run by local and religious institutions.

Remarkably although the Tokugawa government’s policy of severe maritime restrictions fostered relative isolation in order to preserve domestic culture from ‘foreign influences’, foreign documents and books, often descriptive of new technologies were translated and widely distributed and studied. One interesting example is the introduction of Western clocks and time-keeping technology. This innovation allowing for the standardisation of units of time replaced the old system of wadokei or Japanese style clocks. Wadokei were originally developed from the late 16th century and organised time into six daytime hours and six nighttime hours whose length varied according to the season and time of year. The standardisation of time with western-style clocks had a profound effect on Japan and its modernisation.

In this series of Toshiba Lectures in Japanese Art and Science, Professor Kazuyoshi will take an in-depth look at the origins of the Japanese ‘making of things’ (monozukuri) from aesthetics to function during the Edo period and will trace their implications for the present day.

*Please note that this month’s lecture will start at 6.30pm. The lecture will be delivered in Japanese with simultanious translation provided.


About the Speaker

Professor Suzuki Kazuyoshi joined the National Museum of Nature and Science in 1987 after a distinguished career in the Research and Technology Development division at NCR Corporations, Japan. His research interests involve the development of technology in early modern to present day Japan through empirical research on material resources in museums and historical archives. He has curated a number of exhibitions, including ‘Medicine and Healing’, ‘Robots’, and ‘Japan International Aerospace Exhibition’. He serves as a member of committees at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Agency for Cultural Affairs and advises public and private sector organisations on museum and exhibition projects.

English pocket watch made by Markwick London. Imported and converted in Japan to adjust to the daily changing length of time increments in Japan. Edo period, late 18th/early 19th century.


For more information on all the lectures above and to book seats:

Sainsbury Institute, 64 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH
T:  01603 597507 | E: | W:

REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting

REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting

27 September - 1 March 2015

Curated by artist Chris Stevens, REALITY brings together over 50 works celebrating the strength of British painting with some of the best and most influential artists of the last sixty years.

Alan Macdonald, Spam Dragon, 2013, Oil on linen, h. 190 x w. 214 cm, © Alan Macdonald

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

Uncompromising and direct, the work of each artist represented retains a strong reference to the real world, ‘the stuff of life'. While, to an extent, painting has been eclipsed in recent decades by the Minimal and Conceptual movements, installation, photography and film, REALITY testifies to the survival of painting as a medium and the impact of British painting today.

Major 20th Century artists are represented such as Walter Sickert, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and David Hockney, alongside contemporary painters including Ken Currie, George Shaw and Caroline Walker.

The artists in REALITY tackle a diverse range of subjects, referencing the body, relationships, history, politics, war, the urban environment and social issues. Despite these different references, the works are all united by two things - the harsh realities that have concerned key British artists over the decades and the simple act of painting.

REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting features works from the following artists: 

Francis Bacon, Tony Bevan, John Bratby, Cecily Brown, Katarzyna Coleman, Graham Crowley, Ken Currie, Dexter Dalwood, Lucian Freud, Anthony Green, Gwen Hardie, Philip Harris, Clive Head, David Hepher, David Hockney, Luke Jackson, Sam Jackson, Chantal Joffe, John Keane, L.S. Lowry, Alan Macdonald, Jock McFadyen, Paula Rego, Ray Richardson, Terry Setch, George Shaw, Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer, Chris Stevens, Caroline Walker, Alison Watt, Carel Weight

SIfA PhD programmes

SIfA PhD programmes

The Sainsbury Institute for Art at the University of East Anglia (SIfA) is inviting applications for our PhD programmes in Art History, Anthropology of Art, Archaeology, Museum and Heritage Studies, or the Arts of Africa, the Pacific & the Americas.

UEA ranked second in UK for Art History in 2015 Times guide

UEA ranked second in UK for Art History in 2015 Times guide

Art History and World Art Studies, UEA has been rated in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide as second in the country in its latest 2015 league table.

The guide measures student satisfaction, research quality, graduate prospects, degree results as well as other factors like student / staff ratio, facitilites and completion rates.