The 2018 Canadian Museum Association (CMA) Awards of Outstanding Achievement

(Traces of Words book cover image)

The project, Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia, led by Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura (MOA Curator, Asia; Associate Member, Asian Studies & Anthropology) received the 2018 CMA Award of Outstanding Achievement in the Research – Art category. The Jury was unanimous in recognizing that this project was nationally significant and exceeded the current standard of practice. This research aimed to enhance the understanding of the cultural significance of calligraphy across Asia. Dr. Nakamura’s research is an on going, long-term project of two decades, and has resulted in exhibitions (Canberra, 2010; Buenos Aires, 2011 and Vancouver 2017), publications and a range of programs. The richness of this research enabled the project team to develop an insightful exhibition at MOA, and gave a creative twist to how calligraphy could be presented. Viewing and feeling the works was like listening to songs in a foreign language we may not understand but we can still appreciate them precisely because there is more to them than the meaning of the lyrics.


(Fuyubi Nakamura poses with Shamsia Hassani’s What about the dead fish? (2011), displayed in the Traces of Words exhibition. Photo by Yuko Shimizu)

Dr. Thomas Hunter, Dr. Adheesh Sathaye, Dr. Josephine Chiu-Duke, Dr. Bruce Rusk, Dr. Christina Laffin and Dr. Tsering Shakya assisted Dr. Nakamura with researching Asian materials from the MOA collection and RBSC, or checking texts in Asian languages for this project. Dr. Sathaye also contributed a chapter to the Traces of Words publication.