Winter 2016 Schedule

Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia is proud to present our schedule for Winter 2016.
All sessions unless otherwise noted will take place in the Cochrane-Woods Art Center (CWAC)

Fridays, 4:30-6:30
pm
Room 156

2015-04-15 19.48.03
By CC

January 15   Federico Marcon, Assistant Professor
East Asian Studies, Princeton University
TBD
(Co-coordinated with Trans-regional Workshop; This event is sponsored by CEAS Committee on Japanese Studies)
January 29   Miriam Wattles, Associate Professor
History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara
Rethinking Kiyochika
(Co-coordinated with APEA Workshop; This event is sponsored by CEAS Committee on Japanese Studies)
February 12   Christian de Pee, Associate Professor
History, University of Michigan
The City Organic: Writing the Commercial Streetscape in Eleventh-Century China
February 26   Thomas Kelly, Ph.D Candidate
East Asian Studies, University of Chicago
Luminescent Surfaces: Picturing a Ming Rhinoceros Horn Cup
March 11   Anne Feng, Ph.D Candidate
Art History, University of Chicago
Water, Ice, Lapis Lazuli: The Making of a Buddhist Paradise through the Sixteen Meditations

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December 4 Martin Powers

Friday, December 4, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152

How Did Artists Question the Authorities in Early Modern China and England?

Martin Powers
Professor, History of Art, University of Michigan

Zhou Chen street characters mother

Looking at cultural practice in Europe’s late, early modern period, Pierre Bourdieu saw a development in which “intellectual and artistic life…progressively freed itself from aristocratic and ecclesiastical tutelage”. It was only after the decline of aristocracy that artists acquired the agency to use their skills to question social practice, and so in 18th century England one begins to find politically-charged prints from the 1720’s onward. A comparable development occurred in China after the decline of “aristocratic and ecclesiastical tutelage” in Song times. It was then that artists, inspired by the guwen 古文movement, began to address social themes in their work. Afterwards one can find examples of subversive art in China from Song times at least through the end of the Ming. This lecture examines the pattern of development in both cases and finds that both Chinese and English artists adopted similar tropic strategies, and in a similar order, as artists acquired more and more independence from the rich and noble.

Friday, December 4, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152
Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

 

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November 20 Nancy P. Lin

Friday, November 20, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152

The Big Tail Elephant Working Group: Urban Insertion as Artistic Strategy

Nancy P. Lin
Ph.D. Student, Art History, University of Chicago

Lin Yilin, Safely Maneuvering across Lin He Road, 1995
Lin Yilin, Safely Maneuvering across Lin He Road, 1995

The Big Tail Elephant Working Group [大尾象工作组] (BTE), comprised of the artists Lin Yilin (b. 1964), Chen Shaoxiong (b. 1962), Liang Juhui (1959–2006), and later Xu Tan (b. 1957), emerged in Guangzhou in the early 1990s. As many artists began to move towards the burgeoning art scene in Beijing, BTE continued to stay in Guangzhou, choosing the city’s urban spaces as the subject, site, and raw material for their artwork. This paper examines the group’s strategies and positions in relation to the changing social, economic, and physical terrain of Guangzhou between 1991 and 1998. While most scholarship on urban site-oriented practice attributes the critical force of the work to its ability to disrupt the environment, I argue that BTE operated more subtly through methods of “urban insertion” into the existing spaces and flows of the city. Exploring these insertions, I demonstrate the ways in which BTE’s innovative practice shed light on the city’s urbanization process at the same time as it opened up new possibilities for contemporary art and its sites of exhibition in China in the 1990s.

Friday, November 20, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152
Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

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November 10 Zhao Shengliang

Special Talk:

Tuesday, November 10, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 153

This presentation will be held in Chinese.

表象与真实:敦煌壁画之原貌
Dunghuang Murals In the Present and the Past

Zhao Shengliang
Professor, Dunhuang Academy/Lanzhou University
Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 7.07.46 PM
Mogao Caves #263 (Right: Restored by Duan Wenjie)

敦煌石窟经历了千百年的历史,由于自然或人为的破坏,现存壁画与创建的当初有很大的不同,由于光照、空气变化等方面的影响,使颜料产生变色、褪色等状况。因此,在认识和研究敦煌艺术时,如果不了解这些历史变化,而把变化之后的现状作为当时的艺术特点,必然会产生对艺术史现象的错误认识。本次讲演作者将从敦煌壁画制作过程和颜料变色特点等方面来分析敦煌壁画现状与原貌的差距,并追溯七十多年来研究者们对敦煌壁画原貌的探讨,提出了认识和研究敦煌壁画原貌的思路。
Dunhuang Grottoes have been experienced enormously physical changes due to the affection of natural and human factors over the past thousand years. This talk will trace these changes as shown in Dunghuang murals of the past and the present by detailing the producing process, uses of pigments, and the discoloration over time, which sheds light on the understanding of original features of Dunhuang murals.

Tuesday, November 10, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 153

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

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November 6 Xin Wu

Friday, November 6, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152

This event is sponsored by CEAS Committee on Chinese Studies

Serial Landscapes: Visuality and Physicality in Place-making

Xin Wu

Assistant Professor, Art and Art History, College of William and Mary

View of Yuelu Mountain

How did the gaze enact, and act upon, place-making? This talk explores the significance of landscape in Confucian pedagogy and ritual, through an approach to visuality and spatiality. One of the four grand academies (shuyuan) of Song dynasty, the Marchmount Academy was closely related to activities of the founder of neo-Confucianism Zhu Xi (1130‒1200) who promoted an epistemology of renewed attention to nature. Connections between scholarly activities and academy landscape revealed links between philosophy, and the construction of cultural spaces initiated in landscape poetry and rooted in regional environments. While the intertwinement of the academy’s history with a classical landscape theme—Eight Views of Xiao-xiang—and the existent Buddhist territories invites further scrutiny. All these contributed to the formation of a new visuality of collective identity based on a decentered spatiality embodied within serial landscapes.

Friday November 6, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

 

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October 23 Pao-Chen Tang

Friday October 23, 10:30-12:30 am, CWAC 156 

Co-hosted with Mass Culture Workshop

Of Snow and Flow: Actions and Special Effects in The Grandmaster

Pao-Chen Tang

Ph.D. Student, Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago

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Through analyzing selected sequences from Wong Kar-wai’s 2013 The Grandmaster in which characters interact with the ubiquitous falling snow created by particle systems, I argue that the energetics of the film’s special effects engages with traditions of Chinese visual culture, medicine, martial arts cinema, and the western avant-garde notion of vibratory modernism. Based on this at once culturally specific and transcultural energetics, I hope to offer a way of conceptualizing cinema in relation to digital compositing in which special effects and profilmic actions intertwine.

Friday October 23, 10:30-12:30 am, CWAC 156 

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

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October 9 Jun Hu

Friday, October 9, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 152

Chinese Painting Circa 1603: Some Comments on the Conditions for “Art Historical” Art

Jun Hu
Assistant Professor, Art History, Northwestern University

 Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 12.53.47 PM
Wang Yue (fl. first half of 17th c.)
Landscape in the Manner of Huang Gongwang
Album Leaf, Dated 1627
Private Collection

Landscape painting in China is often conditioned by a sense of self-reference. Artists study earlier styles not only as motifs and pictorial content, but also as means. Centuries of conscious emulation and oblique reference makes it possible for a trained eye to see “Wang Wei” in a “Zhao Mengfu,” and “Zhao Mengfu,” in a “Dong Qichang.” But it is only in the seventeenth century, it would seem, that a panoptic vision of the past begins to take form: in this vision “styles” become legible patterns that can be mapped onto history, and it is possible now to (rather like in a modern day art history book) pin a name to a picture. In painted and printed pictorial albums, past styles become the primary subject matter. This talk will explore the formats, mediums, and other conditions in which this “carnival” of pictorial styles took place in seventeenth-century China, as well as its discontents.

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact xizh@uchicago.edu

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Fall 2015 Schedule

Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia is proud to present our schedule for Fall 2015.
All sessions unless otherwise noted will take place in the Cochrane-Woods Art Center (CWAC)

Fridays, 4:30-6:30
pm
Room 152

Untitled
Photo by Jiayi

October 9 Jun Hu, Assistant Professor
Northwestern University, Art History
Chinese Painting Circa 1603: Some Comments on the Conditions for “Art Historical” Art

October 23 10:30-12:30 am, CWAC 156 Pao-chen Tang, Ph.D. Student
University of Chicago, Cinema and Media Studies
Of Snow and Flow: Actions and Special Effects in The Grandmaster
Joint workshop with Mass Culture

November 6 Xin Wu, Assistant Professor
College of William and Mary, Art and Art History
Serial Landscapes: Visuality and Physicality in Place-making
This event is sponsored by CEAS Committee on Chinese Studies

Tuesday, November 10, 4:30-6:30pm, CWAC 153 Zhao Shengliang 趙聲良
Dunhuang Academy/Lanzhou University
表象与真实:敦煌壁画之原貌
(presentation in Chinese)

November 20 Nancy P. Lin, Ph.D. Student
University of Chicago, Art History
The Big Tail Elephant Working Group: Urban Insertion as Artistic Strategy

December 4 Martin Powers, Professor
University of Michigan, History of Art
How Did Artists Question the Authorities in Early Modern China and England?

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May 15th Roberta Wue

Roberta Wue, Associate Professor

Art History and Visual Studies Department, University of California-Irvine

Xugu Abstractions

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.14.23 PM

Among its innovations, late Qing Shanghai painting may count intriguing experimentation in the rendering of space and the multi-dimensional.  The work of the monk painter Xugu (1823-1896) can be said to exemplify a period curiosity about the nature and construction of pictorial space. In his paintings, especially his landscapes and still-life subjects, the representation of space becomes an important theme, often challenging conventional concepts of positioning, orientation and order.  Though couched in the terms and genres of “traditional” ink painting, Xugu’s works often appear to acknowledge western notions of geometry and perspective but not in blind imitation — his works as a whole can be understood to acknowledge, disrupt and reorder indigenous and imported notions of depicted space. Space, of course, is also a term for positioning and the inter-relationship of persons, things and places; thus, Xugu’s treatment of visual space can be seen not only as a topical, intercultural and intermedial investigation into pictorial technologies and genres, but also a meditation on cultural, social and personal placement and order.

All sessions will take place in the Cochrane-Woods Art Center (CWAC)
Room 156 4:30-6:30pm

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact tingtingxu@uchicago.edu

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May 8 Yanfei Zhu

Yanfei Zhu, Postdoctoral Scholar and Lecturer

The Department of Art History, University of Chicago

“Traitor to Art:” Liu Haisu (1896-1994) and His Oil/Ink Paintings between Two Worlds

2waves

Liu Haisu (1896-1994), details of Waves (left), 1932, oil on canvas, 72.5 x 92 cm, and Angry Waves (right), 1927, hanging scroll, ink on paper, 150.8 x 62.3 cm. Both at the Kyoto National Museum.

As often criticized as praised by his contemporaries and current scholars, Liu Haisu (1896-1994) was a seminal figure in the definition of modern art and art education in Republican China (1912-1949). He directed the Shanghai Art Academy, one of the first modern art schools in China; during his journeys to Europe, he acted as an informal envoy of art and culture, endeavoring to propagate the knowledge of Chinese art and reinstate China as the cradle of Far Eastern culture; and throughout his life, he doggedly worked to integrate the ostensibly irreconcilable conventions of Chinese and European painting. After examining his writings and paintings of the period, and in particular his claims for the theoretical consonance of painting by the nineteenth century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) and the seventeenth century Chinese painter Shitao (1642-1707), this paper proposes that Liu Haisu, despite his many empty boasts, succeeded in the project of establishing a new Chinese art in the twentieth century, one in which ink painting and oil painting both had a significant place.

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact tingtingxu@uchicago.edu

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