AustinCollege Hosts Interdisciplinary Events Highlighting Asian Artist-Scientist
Austin College will host several events focused on “The Art and Science of Iwasaki Tsuneo” March 22-24 on campus. The events, sponsored by the Lowe Lecture Series, Asia Week, Biology Seminar, and Mellon Digital Pedagogy, center on the work of Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002), a Japanese research biologist, Buddhist, environmentalist and painter who integrated scientific principles from biology and physics with Buddhist philosophical ideas in a unique art form. All events are free and open to the public.
Guest speaker Dr. Paula Arai, a religious studies faculty member at Louisiana State University, knew Tsuneo personally. She will present the lecture, "Painting Enlightenment: The Art and Science of the Heart Sutra" on Wednesday, March 22, at 4.30 p.m. in WrightCampusCenter, Room 231. She will speak on his works and the intersection of science, Buddhism and concern for the environment.
A Science and Humanities panel: “What Do You See?” is scheduled for Thursday, March 23, at 4:30 p.m. in IDEACenter, Room 127. As part of the Lowe Lecture Series, Arai will join science faculty Kelly Reed, David Whelan, Don Salisbury, and Mari Elise Ewing and East Asian studies faculty Scott Langton and Mindy Landeck in an interdisciplinary panel discussion responding to the works of Tsuneo. Co-sponsored by the Biology Seminars program, the discussion will be informative to students in the sciences and several other disciplines. A reception in the Page Atrium of the IDEACenter will precede the panel.
Other events include an ink brush interactive workshop titled "Brushing the Heart" at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, in WrightCampusCenter’s Johnson Gallery.
An exhibition of selections of Iwasaki Tsuneo's works, curated by Ara and Dr. Ivette Vargas-O’Bryan, who is coordinating the various activities, will be on display in the IDEACenter through March 24. The exhibit was installed by Mark Monroe, associate professor of arts, and students in his Art 495 course. A full exhibition of major works, “Wisdom of Compassion: The Art and Science of Iwasaki Tsuneo,” is on display through June 11 at the Crow Collection of Asian Art Museum in Dallas. Vargas-O’Bryan’s religious studies students will interact with the Dallas exhibit throughout the spring term.
Arai obtained her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from HarvardUniversity in 1993. In the following years, she taught at BrownUniversity, VanderbiltUniversity, Hong KongUniversity of Science & Technology and CarletonCollege. Her other major works include: Bringing Zen Home: The Healing Heart of Japanese Women’s Rituals, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2011; and Women Living Zen: Japanese Sôtô Buddhist Nuns, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; and an upcoming book about Tsuneo.
AustinCollege, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, AustinCollege boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities.A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College isrelated by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.