In 2013, Roselyne Francken (°1989) obtained a master’s degree in Japanology at the KU Leuven. Her ardent fascination with Japanese art and its reception in the Western world, which had begun to manifest itself from the very outset of her study in Japanology, drove her to pursue an academic career dedicated to this subject. Wanting to deepen her understanding of art in general, as well as her grasp of art historical research, methodology and writing, she enrolled in the KU Leuven art history curriculum. After having held an internship at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp in 2015-2016, she graduated in 2017. Her second master’s thesis focused on the socialpsychological influence of Japanese art on the formation of Japan’s image among the Belgian Japonisants during the fin de siècle.
In June 2018, Roselyne was granted a PhD fellowship by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). A few months later, however, she obtained a position as curator and keeper of the Asia collection in the MAS. In addition to now fulfilling this role and the duties it entails, she continues to pursue a PhD. Roselyne’s research project, supervised by Professors Jan Van der Stock and Willy Vande Walle, is situated at the intersection of Japanology and art history. Its principal objective is a thorough investigation of the Belgian reception of kamigata-e (ukiyo-e woodblock prints produced in the Kamigata area, notably in Osaka), their relatively late acquisition by the Brussels Royal Museums of Art and History and their inclusion in other representative public collections in Western Europe. Her choice of PhD research topic reveals Roselyne’s strong affinity with Naniwa bunka, Osaka’s idiosyncratic culture as opposed to that of Tokyo. This predilection was nurtured by a one-year stay at Osaka University in 2010-2011, participating in the institution’s Maple Program on a scholarship granted by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).