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Yukio Lippit

Harvard University
Yukio Lippit received his B.A. (1993) in Literature from Harvard University and his
M.A. (1998) and Ph.D. (2003) in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University before
becoming a member of Harvard’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture in
2003. In addition to affiliations with the Centre Parisien d’Etudes Critiques (1993-4) and
the University of Tokyo (1998-2000), he has spent a year at the Center for Advanced
Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. as
an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow (2002-3), and been a Getty Postdoctoral Fellow (2004-5).

His research interests focus primarily on premodern Japanese painting, with a special
emphasis on Sino-Japanese painting associated with Zen Buddhism and the various
lineages that emerged from it during the medieval and early modern periods. His
forthcoming book, Painting of the Realm: The Kanō House of Painters in Seventeenth
Century Japan
, examines the transformations that took place in the field of Japanese
painting when the Kanō, the official studio to the Tokugawa shogunate, reimagined its
own lineage as a national genealogy of painting. Through their activities as artists,
authors, and authenticators, members of the Kanō ensured that their house style would
form the ground of Japanese painting throughout the early modern era.

A new book project titled Illusory Abode: Modes and Manners of Ink Painting in
Medieval Japan
 examines how ink painting as a medium enabled discourses about
representation that emerged in Zen Buddhist communities from the thirteenth through
sixteenth century. In 2007 he co-curated, along with Gregory P. Levine, an exhibition on
Zen figure painting to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Japan Society of New
York. In addition to co-authoring the accompanying catalogue Awakenings: Zen Figure
Painting in Medieval Japan
, he is co-editing with Levine a collection of essays on art and
Zen Buddhism through the Tang Center for the Study of East Asian Art at Princeton

Recent articles have examined Sesshū’s Long Landscape Scroll, early Zen portraiture, the
twelfth-century Genji Scrolls, Tawaraya Sōtatsu, Goryeo Buddhist painting, Southern
Barbarian screens, apparition painting in thirteenth-century China, and the rhetoric of the
drunken painter in Japanese literati painting. Premodern Japanese architecture constitutes
another research interest, with a special emphasis on sukiya architecture. His teaching
focuses primarily on four areas: Japanese architecture and urbanism, woodblock prints,
modern art, and interregionalism in East Asian painting.

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