Message from Head

Message from Head of Graduate School

“Hands” and “heads” Kunio Motoe

When I say that one is in charge of Doctoral Degree Course by those involved with the fine arts and guide students in the creation of their theses, most people reply that that sort of study has no connection with production as they display their somehow icy response. For certain, if one thinks of fine arts as just some kind of mere handicraft, this can be thought of as not at all unreasonable; on the other hand, in response to the creation of a thesis for an academic certification compiled while conducting a trial and error process, it is difficult to deny that it is frequently the case that works of art will again display extraordinary improvements in quality. It’s probably also possible to regard this as happening by chance or some sort of error, but nothing can be created from this sort of attitude. Conversely, during this sort of development of works the “hand” (i.e. sensory perception) and the “head” (i.e. intellect) supplement one another, and while they do so it can be thought that there is some significance to the fact that things can be observed and taken from this series of improvements.

Students in the academic department who bolster their basic production skills while, prior to the period in which they receive their doctorates, during the master’s programs learn how to pursue individual expression, do not immediately dive into mainstream society; they instead move on to the next course of study and accumulate further knowledge, though their concrete motives for doing so all probably differ. However, though some also have worldly reasons such as building an academic record or acquiring qualifications, we must not forget that many purely desire in their own way to pursue learning or scholarly principles by researching creation and theory. Self-satisfied students who become engrossed in handcrafts eventually come to realize its limitations, and when they re-revaluate themselves from a broader perspective or come face to face with that stage of their own development, they begin to purse for the first time the advancement to a doctoral course as a realistic objective. This means that “hands” (production) and “head” (theory) are working together, and it is precisely because of that that students who have lost their motivation due to spending all their time on writing their thesis discover a new “hint” or “means of escape” from a physical experience based on their own sensory perception once they actually are making things.

Creation and theory are not two totally distinct things. Creation and theory mutually complement one another; theory pursues creation, and creation pursues theory. Both share an organic relationship; also, they must be in harmony, and it is in this harmony that the affinity of aesthetic meaning is born. This is perhaps an overly beautiful dream in the application of aesthetics. However, the ultimate goal of the Doctoral Degree Course of Tama Art University is the ability to think of this seemingly unrealistic dream of as an unmistakable fact.

It is precisely because of this that we do not separate “hands” (works) and “heads” (theses); based on “Guidance in Integrated Research”, we set up a kind of critical review committee that can simultaneously understand both of these, and without separating “practical skill” and “theory”, the supervising instructors and the students can exchange opinions, and by doing so there are many individuals expressing themselves. Through this we hope to inspire more enriched and beneficial suggestions.

The Doctoral Degree Course of Tama Art University does not just have this one function; it features a diverse array of fine arts, design, and theory (fine arts history – aesthetics) students, and truly offers a hot melting pot for all these kinds of students. For students who have until now been in a top-down arrangement academic department may be wondering if this would be fruitful and fresh experience; testimonials from persons involved in it exist, and it can be thought that the most appealing aspect of our program is its open and free from worry nature.

The idea that there are no departmental barriers in a postdoctoral program means that for the instructors responsible for teaching the students there is no clear division of duty in the teaching of practical skills and theory, and there is no reason for them to hold back when working together in the instruction of students. In fact, the practical skill and theory instructors work mixed together and in the evaluation of works and research reports they are overflowing with enthusiasm, and the students (and also the teachers) receive the greatest blessing that passion provides. We have limited information about the marvelous examples of the mutual influence and synthesis of “hands” and “heads”, and know nothing else about it. “Guidance in Integrated Research” is an especially distinctive characteristic of Tama Arts University’s postdoctoral program, and we feels that it is something we can be proud of.