Quincy Ngan

Quincy Ngan's picture
Assistant Professor, History of Art
190 York St, Room 457, New Haven, CT 06511
Areas of interest : 
Art of Pre-Modern to Contemporary China; Chinese Painting


HSAR 119, EAST 119

Introduction to the History of Art: Asian Art and Culture

This introductory course explores the art of India, China, Japan, and Korea from prehistory to the present. We consider major works and monuments from all four regions. Themes include the representation of nature and the body, the intersection of art with spirituality and politics, and everything from elite to consumer culture. All students welcome, including those who have no previous experience with either art history or the study of Asian art. This class makes frequent visits to Yale University Art Gallery.

Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: MW 9:25 AM - 10:15 AM
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.

Term: Spring 2023
Day/Time: T,Th 9:25 AM - 10:15 AM
HSAR 427, EAST 427

Chinese Skin Problems

This seminar uses artwork as a means of understanding the various skin problems faced by contemporary Chinese people. Divided into four modules, this seminar first traces how the “ideal skin” as a complex trope of desire, superficiality, and deception has evolved over time through the ghost story, Painted Skin (Huapi), and its countless spin-offs. Second, the course explores how artists have overcome a variety of social distances and barriers through touch; we look at artworks that highlight the healing power and erotic associations of cleansing, massaging, and moisturizing the skin. Third, we explore the relationship between feminism and gender stereotypes through artworks and performances that involve skincare, makeup and plastic surgery. Fourth, the course investigates the dynamics between “Chineseness,” colorism, and racial tensions through the artworks produced by Chinese-American and diasporic artists. Each module is comprised of one meeting focusing on theoretical frameworks and two meetings focusing on individual artists and close analysis of artworks. Readings include Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings, Nikki Khanna’s Whiter, and Leta Hong Fincher’s Leftover Women.  

Term: Fall 2022
Day/Time: T 1:30 PM - 3:20 PM
HSAR 594, EAST 594

Chinese Paintings at the YUAG

This seminar explores the issue of authenticity in thirteenth through twentieth century Chinese paintings at the Yale University Art Gallery. Students become familiar with the different schools of connoisseurship and the major debates surrounding authenticity in the field of Chinese painting. Students learn about the methods for authenticating an attribution, as well as the rationale behind the dating provided by the gallery. Calligraphical inscriptions and seals on the works, as well as their physical condition, related conservation reports, and provenance are consulted as well. 

Term: Spring 2023
Day/Time: T 1:30 PM - 3:20 PM