March 7 GU Yi

Friday, March 7, 3:30-5:30pm, CWAC 153

What Did Photography Do to Chinese Painting?

GU Yi
Assistant Professor of Art History
University of Toronto

 Zhu Shouren_Qujing

This presentation aims to illuminate a fundamental perceptual shift in Republican China through a close analysis of key art terms such as “view-taking”(qujing), “composition”(goutu), and “perspective”(toushi). These terms, still widely used in Chinese art writing to this day, were promulgated by the discourses and practices of art photography during the 1920s and 30s. The perceptual mode undergirding these terms had a great impact on the way guohua (traditional style painting) painters reconfigured their practices. Incompatibility between the grand vista of traditional monumental landscape painting and new optical knowledge based on Euclidean optics prompted guohua painters to develop new ways of depicting landscape as well as new understandings of the nature of painting. While modern Chinese art has often been categorized as a development arising from the tension between attempts at modernization inspired by the West and efforts to honor and preserve the tradition, the overlooked trajectories of these terms remind us how categories such as “the West” and “Chinese” were historical contingent constructions.

Friday, March 7, 3:00-5:00pm, CWAC 153
Persons with disability who may need assistance, please contact Anne Feng anf@uchicago.edu

This event is a joint-workshop with Arts & Politics on East Asia (APEA)

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