Adrian Favell

Professional Academic Associates

Chair in Sociology and Social Theory at the University of Leeds

Adrian Favell is a sociologist, recently appointed to the position of Chair in Sociology and Social Theory at the University of Leeds. After spending a year as a Japan Foundation-SSRC Abe Fellow in Tokyo 2006-7, he developed a series of works on the sociology of the contemporary Japanese art world, contributing to the yet-to-be-written art history of Japan since the Bubble of the 1980s.

He is the author of the book Before and After Superflat, published by DAP/Blue Kingfisher in 2012, as well as essays published in Art in America, Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society, New York, Artforum online and, in Japanese, in the leading review of Japanese contemporary art, Bijutsu Techo. He has also written for artists’ catalogues, and published a very widely read blog about the Japanese art scene from 2009-2013 in the online journal Art-iT.

At the Sainsbury Institute, he is working on a book manuscript that looks at the relation of socially engaged art and architectural practices in Japan to the demographic, social and natural crises it has faced in an era of “post-growth” shrinkage and growing urban/rural divides. Notably, there are the extraordinary rural festivals of art producer Kitagawa Fram (Echigo-Tsumari), who will be invited to Norwich to speak about his life and work at a conference in December 2015 on “Contemporary Art, Activism and Social Crisis in Japan”, which Favell is organising. Favell has also recently published essays on rural revitalisation projects in Seto, the Japanese contemporary art market, and the diaspora of young Japanese artists living abroad. These and other writings can be found at his website.