Departmental Bulletin Paper 視覚障害のある芸術家アイデンティティに関する研究の動向と展望
A Review and Some Consideration of the Studies on Identity of Artists with Visual Impairments

奥田, 博子  ,  岡本, 祐子

This paper surveys and reviews clinical psychological studies on the identity of artists with visual impairments from an interdisciplinary perspective that includes the field of rehabilitation. It also discusses differences and similarities between the identity of artists with visual impairments and others. Looking at the studies of other countries, interest in rehabilitation and the acceptance of disabilities among those facing them has been increasing since the 1950s. A few reports actually exist that describe psychological studies conducted in the United States on persons with visual impairments. In recent years, we also find a few studies on measurement of psychological adaptation and counseling for developing coping strategies for persons with visual impairments, but no studies have yet been carried out on an ongoing basis with a view to long-term psychological support. Due to the close link between artistic expression and clinical psychology, especially psychoanalysis, some research has dealt with the relation of identity to literature and other works. However, the number of studies focusing on artistic expression ‒ particularly painting ‒ by persons with visual impairments remains insignificant. When we survey studies of identity conducted in Japan and overseas, many of these relate to adolescence. Rather, this study relates to research focusing on the process of identity development in middle aged people, when this identity is most prone to serious psychological crisis. Throughout history, many painters are known to have suffered from visual impairments that shook the foundations of their artistic identity. However, the artists in this study used their own crisis of identity as a turning point and developed two paradoxical identities ‒ an identity as a person with visual impairment and an identity as a visual artist ‒. There is a need for empirical research into the process of how the identity of artists with visual impairments develops in relationship with others.

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