Beyond a White Australia: A New History of Modern Australian Photography  

Melissa Miles 
Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow
Art History and Theory Program
Monash University Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Melbourne

Wednesday 19 October 6.00 pm
The University of Queensland Art Museum
James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11)

  • Listen to or download MP3 'Beyond a White Australia: A New History of Modern Australian Photography' Dr Professor Melissa Miles here

The recent discovery of a photograph album belonging to Ichiro Kagiyama (1891–1965) offers new insight into the history of photography in Australia. This album highlights the need for a new conception of modern Australian photography that extends well beyond its aesthetic links to Europe and the UK, and acknowledges its important historical connections with Asia. As a Japanese resident of Australia from the early to mid-twentieth century, an active member of the Photographic Society of New South Wales, a regular contributor to The Home magazine and a professional photographer operating his own commercial studio, Kagiyama made a valuable but little acknowledged contribution to Australian visual culture. The rare personal album of 154 photographs presented in this lecture includes photographs of important public moments of inter-cultural encounter between Australia and Japan, such as the visit of Japanese naval forces to Australia and the Japanese Village at the White City amusement park. It also reveals how Kagiyama used photography in a more personal sense to negotiate his own place amongst Anglo- and Japanese-Australian communities, and to bridge the geographical and cultural distance between Australia and Japan. 

Professor Melissa Miles is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow based in the Art History and Theory Program at Monash University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. Her books include The Burning Mirror: Photography in an Ambivalent Light (2008, 2010), The Language of Light and Dark: Light and Place in Australian Photography (2015), and The Culture of Photography in Public Space (2015, co-edited with Anne Marsh and Daniel Palmer). She is currently working with Prof Robin Gerster on an Australian Research Council funded project on Australian-Japanese photographic relations, and a book titled Photography, Truth and Reconciliation to be published by Bloomsbury. 

  • View media release here

Sponsored by Philip Bacon Galleries.

Professor Melissa Miles 
Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture 
Monash University