AAT

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Scholarship

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Released as Linked Open Data

Linked Open Data / Ellora Caves in India

Vast database of geographic places is now available for free download. More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Scholarship

Art & Architecture Thesaurus Now Available as Linked Open Data

Linked Open Data / Vincent van Gogh's Irises

A key reference database on art and architecture is now available for free download. More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

What Is 砂金石? The Art & Architecture Thesaurus Publishes Chinese Terms

Necklace with aventurine
Necklace featuring 砂金石 (shā jīn shí), also known as venturina and aventurien

The big news in the Getty Vocabulary Program is that around 3,150 records in the Art & Architecture Thesaurus with one or more Chinese-language equivalent terms, plus descriptive notes and bibliographic citations in Chinese, are now published online. The Art… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Center, Getty Research Institute, Scholarship

Career Profile: Patricia Harpring, Managing Editor of the Getty Vocabulary Program

Patricia Harpring

What do you do at the Getty? I manage the Getty Vocabulary Program. You probably want to know what that is! We compile databases of terminology that allow people to catalog art and to retrieve information about it. I’ve worked… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Conservation, Getty Research Institute

An Update on the Earthquake in Chile

Earthquake damage at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Talca, Chile. Photo: Jorge Sacaan Riadi

The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) is a tool for cataloging and retrieving art information. It is being translated into several languages. Our friend and colleague Lina Nagel (manager of the AAT Spanish translation project) at the Centro de… More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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