Reframing “Jin Painting”: Painting Cultures in North China (12th-13th centuries)

Reframing “Jin Painting”: Painting Cultures in North China (12th-13th centuries)

Gabrielle Niu - Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies and Lecturer in History of Art

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Room 218, East Asia Library, SML See map
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Lunch will be served.

The Jin dynasty (1115-1234) ruled in north China for over one hundred years, yet Jin painting remains under-studied. This is due largely to the fact that there are only a handful of extant Jin paintings on silk and paper. However, many painted tombs from north China, dating approximately to the period of Jin rule, have been excavated and published in recent decades. In this talk, I contend that in order to understand “Jin painting” and its place in the history of painting in China, definitions of “painting” must be pushed beyond silk and paper. Furthermore, we must deconstruct the rigidity imposed on art historical narratives by dynastic chronologies and periodization. By examining the interfaces between paintings on silk, paper, and temple and tomb walls, this talk will demonstrate the importance of local centers of painting culture, as well as the significance of a broader, north Chinese cultural sphere for understanding painting of 12th-13th century north China.

Gabrielle Niu is an art historian of pre-modern China. Her research interests include the art, architecture, and archaeology of the tenth to fourteenth centuries, with a focus on cultures and exchanges at China’s mutable borders. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Her dissertation, “Beyond Silk: A Re-evaluation of Jin Painting (1115 – 1234)”, explores Jin painting on silk, paper, temple and tomb walls and argues for regional frameworks for approaching 12th -13th century north Chinese painting cultures.

During her time at Yale, she will develop her new research project “Mapping Middle Period (10th – 14th c.) Chinese Tombs: Funerary Murals from the Liao, Northern Song, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties.” She will also teach a class in the spring on Chinese art and archaeology at the Yale University Art Gallery.