Art of No-Return: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art|
Spring 2019 not offered
With record-breaking auction prices, often in the millions for a single work, modern and contemporary Chinese art has captured international attention over the past two decades. These works, often flamboyant and contentious, reflect the political, social, and cultural changes that China has experienced since the conclusion of its dynastic past in 1911. In this course, we will examine the development of modern and contemporary Chinese art in the context of these changes, from the influx of Western social theories in the 1920s and '30s, through the Japanese invasion and the political upheavals during the Mao (1893--1976) and post-Mao eras, to the socio-economic reforms of the 1980s to the present times. We will study leading artists, such as Xu Beihong, Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan, whose works in painting, sculpture, architecture, installation, and performance art helped to define the new Chinese art. While examining the artworks, we will explore issues related to the tension between Chinese nationalism and Westernization, the adaptation of modern aesthetics and visual technologies, the conflict between state sponsorship and censorship, the changing perception of gender and self-image, the emergence of urban space and consumer culture, and the connection between art and the global economy. The goal of this course is to provide an advanced understanding of Chinese art in the present times.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Gao Minglu, TOTAL MODERNITY AND THE AVANT-GARDE IN 20TH-CENTURY CHINESE ART (MIT, 2011).
Richard King ed., ART IN TURMOIL: THE CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION, 1966-76 (UBC Press, 2010).
Li Xianting, CHINA'S NEW ART, POST-1989 (Hong Kong, Hanart TZ Gallery, 1993).
Wu Hung, CONTEMPORARY CHINESE ART (Thames and Hudson, 2014). And, additional readings accessible on the course website.
|Examination and Assignments: |
two in-class exams, one take-home exams, class presentations, one short writing assignment, one long term paper