HSAR 016, EAST 016
Chinese Painting and Culture
This course focuses on important works of Chinese painting and major painters from the fourth century CE to the twentieth century. Through close readings of the pictorial contents and production contexts of such works of art, this course investigates the works’ formats, meanings, and innovations from social, historical, and art-historical perspectives. In this course, students become familiar with the traditional Chinese world and acquire the knowledge necessary to be an informed viewer of Chinese painting. Discussions of religion, folkloric beliefs, literature, relationships between men and women, the worship of mountains, the laments of scholars, and the tastes of emperors and wealthy merchants also allow students to understand the cultural roots of contemporary China.
HSAR 237, EAST 237
Arts of China
Arts of China is a window to the nation’s history, culture, society, and aesthetics. This course introduces the visual arts of China from the prehistoric period to the twentieth century. We look at the archaeological findings (including pottery, jade, and bronze vessels) as well as ancestor worship and belief in posthumous souls and immortal mountains. We look at the art and architecture inspired by Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. We investigate the place of Chinese painting and calligraphy in court and elite cultures and explore how these arts intertwine with politics, printing culture, and popular culture. Lastly, we investigate the decorative arts, like ceramics, textiles, and furniture, as well as the art and architecture that reflect foreign tastes.
HSAR 469, EAST 469
Contemporary Art and Culture in China
This course is an introduction to the art and culture of contemporary China, covering the period from 1960s to the present day. It focuses on art objects, performances, propaganda, and exhibitions produced by the government, the business sector, curators, and avant-garde artists in Mainland China. We also look at China’s Olympic stadiums, the Three Gorges Dam, and skyscrapers (including those in Hong Kong and Taiwan). Class meetings discuss the required readings and investigate artworks, films, and events that speak to China’s political ideologies, society, and economy, as well as its role in globalization and international conflicts. To establish a cross-cultural interpretation, this class also explores how Euro-American artists and filmmakers used their arts to express their views on contemporary China.
HSAR 531, EAST 531
Contemporary Chinese Art: Issues and Narratives
This seminar seeks to parse the development of contemporary Chinese art from multiple perspectives, situating major artworks, artists’ statements, and exhibitions from the 1960s onward in a complex network composed of domestic events, the global art market, and individual curators. Required readings provide interpretation frameworks for studying art objects, performances, propaganda, and exhibitions produced by the government, the business sector, curators, and avant-garde artists in Mainland China. Class discussion aims to identify historiographical lacunae and methodology for advancing the research on contemporary Chinese art. Topics addressed include the Cultural Revolution, underground art groups, academic art, ’85 new wave, apartment art, experimental art, site-specificity, identity, feminism, exhibition space, biennale, and local/global.