This course will survey the contemporary Chinese art world from an anthropological perspective. It puts the accent back on China to survey the course of modernization in an ancient art tradition. Beginning in 1930, Chinese artists developed new forms of artistic practice, organization, and expression in a process of creative diversification that leads directly to the profusion of styles and expressions we see today. We will examine the historical and cultural impetus for modernization in the Chinese art world: the complicated initial engagements with Western art; the effects of politicization of the art world under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); the spirited and complex development of visual art during the reform period; and, finally, the effects of Chinese artists' gradual entry into the international art world. Our focus on Chinese concerns including painting from life, figure drawing, line vs. chiaroscuro, realism, folk arts, and the importance of heritage will orient our survey and keep us focused on the Chinese rather than international art world. The style of the course will be syncretic: Materials from anthropology, art history, and history, as well as images from comics, design, photography, and, of course, painting, will be presented in a rich cultural context. Readings from the anthropology of art, on art in contemporary and traditional China, and on history will help us develop an idea of the way that artistic practices help form an art world. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the native background for the current craze for Chinese art in the West as well as the ability to discuss art worlds and relations between art worlds with different aesthetic systems. No knowledge of Chinese or Chinese history is required for this course.