Anthropological Photography as Colonial Image Strategy
The focus of this research project is a series of anthropological photographs from Torii Ryūzō’s expeditions in colonized Korea during the 1910s. The Japanese anthropologist took over one of the scientific research projects ordered by the Japanese General Government. His study on the peoples of the Korean Peninsula and their culture was one of many studies that were carried out with the goal of completing a racial theory, which ranged from archeology throughout history to physical anthropology. This dissertation will analyze Torii’s photo series in the context of the canon of scientifically understood photography and its epistemological status in anthropological knowledge production. By doing so, this project seeks to reveal not only colonial visual strategies and scientific racism in Imperial Japan, but also to shed light on the global processes of appropriation, transformation, and circulation of knowledge and sciences.
Jeehye Kim is a PhD student in the Department of Art History at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg and has been a DOC fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since July 2022. After obtaining an Associate of Arts degree in photography at Kaywon University of Art & Design in Uiwang-si, South Korea, she studied art history and history at the Free University and the Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests include scientific imagery, photography, transcultural art history, and postcolonial theory.
»… wie kann man aber in den afrikanischen und anderen Kolonien Absatzgebiete suchen und schaffen wollen, ohne über Natur und Art der Eingeborenen auf das Genaueste unterrichtet zu sein! Wissen ist Macht.« (Felix von Luschan, 1906)