May 31, Yunfei Shao

Thursday, May 31,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 156

Tourist Guide at Hand and on Display: Producing “Route Maps” of West Lake in late Imperial China

Yunfei Shao
Department of Art History, University of Chicago

This paper examines a unique type of images of West Lake (Xihu) produced for tourists during the Ming-Qing period. In this paper, I will propose that this format of depicting West Lake could function as route maps for both virtual and actual touring. Before the emergence of this type of images, West Lake was represented in two main formats: the Ten Scenes and the Map-like formats. With the tourist boom in mid-to-late Ming Dynasty and the imperial tours of Qing emperors, this new format took shape and developed into a third major prototype in representing West Lake. Several distinct features make this format stand out as a unique case in landscape painting. First, the conversion from oval-shaped lake to long horizontal handscroll presents an example of how the constantly changing perspective transforms what is seen to what is depicted; second, the positive correlation between the proportioned length of each section in the scroll to that of actual site suggest an intention to mimic real life journey; third, the starting points and destinations within these “map-like” scrolls demonstrate a curated route designed for specific groups of tourists.

Thursday, May 31,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 156

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

May 25, Jue Hou

Friday, May 25,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 156

Skin Deep: Corporeography from Kafka to Qiu Zhijie

Jue Hou
Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago

(Left) Martin Senn, Franz Kafka: Der Eigentümliche Apparataus der Erzählung “In der Strafkolonie.” [Franz Kafka: The Peculiar Apparatus from the Story “In the Penal Colony.”]
(Right) Qiu Zhijie, 紋身2 [Tattoo II]

A comparative study of corporeal inscriptions, this paper interrogates the intersection of language, death, and the surface/depth of the body. Taking as my departure a recent medical case in which an unconscious patient’s tattooed request to withhold emergency care has spurred much debate, I intend to approach bodily writings as sites where language, communication, and mortality conjoin and contest with each other. Revisiting the famous debate between Jacques Derrida and John Searle over the nature of the signature, I shall seek to explore the materiality of writing through engaging a variety of texts and works of art, including Paul de Man’s writing on Wordsworth’s reflections upon epitaphs, Franz Kafka’s short story, “In the Penal Colony,” as well as representations of the skin in works of contemporary Chinese art such as Xu Bing’s A Case Study of Transference 一個轉換案例的研究, Zhang Huan’s Family Tree 家譜, and Qiu Zhijie’s Tattoo series 紋身系列. What is defacement? What can/do tattoos do? What are the limitations of the mind/body dualism, conceived through a phenomenology of the marked skin? What do corporeographies, understood as a kind of border writing that inhabits the fleshy interface, tell us about the surface/depth model of subjectivity? These are among questions I seek to address.

Friday, May 25,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 156

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

May 17, Wei Jianpeng

Thursday, May 17,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 156

Please note: This workshop will be conducted in Chinese

敦煌维摩诘经变的结构性演变 [Structural Evolution of Vimalakirti Sutra Illustration in Dunhuang]

魏健鹏,四川大学考古系博士生,2017-2018 学年东亚艺术中心访问学生
Wei Jianpeng, Doctoral student, Department of Archaeology, Sichuan University | Visiting student, Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago

维摩诘经变或许是敦煌经变画中形式最为特殊、在石窟内位置变化最大的一种。自隋至宋,以二元对称的方式布局在主室西壁龛顶、龛外两侧、龛内两侧、南北一壁、主室东壁门两侧或一侧,以及前室西壁门两侧和南北壁等位置。然而目前对敦煌维摩诘经变的研究主要关注于图像分析、佛教史、敦煌历史以及图像和讲唱文学的关系等方面,多将维摩诘经变放在二维的平面中探讨,忽视了其空间环境,以致无法全面理解这种特殊图像与空间的关系。因此,我将以莫高窟初唐第334窟和335窟为例,着重讨论这种二元对称图像的结构演变,兼及维摩诘经变与劳度叉斗圣变的相互关联影响。第334窟维摩诘经变绘于西壁龛内两侧,文殊菩萨和维摩诘等相关情节的布局皆背对主尊佛像面向龛外,形成一种开放型的对称结构。与之一墙之隔的第335窟西壁龛内,劳度叉斗圣的二元对称图像结构在敦煌首次出现,画面主角劳度叉和舍利弗以主尊佛像为中心,相向绘于龛内两侧。二窟龛内图像的结构相近但对称方向相反,其中的相似和差异之处,可能构成了这两种图像不同发展方向的滥觞。

Thursday, May 17,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 156

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

May 10, Yin WU

Thursday, May 10,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 156

Materiality, Text, and Image in the Chinese Version of The Rules for Reciting the Rosary (Song nianzhu guicheng)

Yin WU 
Department of Art History, University of Chicago

“The Annunciation,” an image from Rules for Reciting the Rosary (Song nianzhu guicheng 诵念珠规程), The Getty Research Institute.

This paper examines an illustrated manual entitled Song nianzhu guicheng 诵念珠规程 (Rules for Reciting the Rosary, hereafter referred to as Guicheng), published in Nanjing, China in 1619. The Chinese version was translated by Portuguese Jesuit João da Rocha (1583-1623) from Rosary. Instead of simply transplanting a Western book, it reveals a transformation at the point of convergence between Western religion, values, traditions, and Chinese formulas for book printing. Most previous studies focus on its fusion of Western artistic style and Chinese pictorial conventions, often looking at images individually. This paper will demonstrate multiple-layers of transformation, including its materiality, format, reading procedure, text and image. Studying the book as a whole, this paper will reveal the missionaries’ meticulous considerations of how a Western religious book can be transformed and reinvented into a Chinese book that is understandable and functional to Chinese converts.

Thursday, May 10,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 156

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

May 1, Corey Byrnes

Tuesday, May 1,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 157  (Please note the special time, location, and format)

Defining the Chinese Landscape of Desolation in Teaching and Research

Corey Byrnes
Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Literature in the Asian Languages and Cultures Department, Northwestern University

Discussant: Pao-chen Tang, PhD Student, Cinema and Media Studies
Co-sponsored with the Art & Politics of East Asia Workshop

Duan Jianyu, Beautiful Dream #7, 2008

VMPEA and APEA is pleased to present this special session, which will follow a unique format. Professor Byrnes will present an essay in progress as well as two related syllabi. These materials are pre-circulated in the link included here or below.  The workshop discussion will be an opportunity not only to offer feedback on the essay, but also to address the challenges of combining research and teaching and designing a syllabus based upon one’s research interests. We will be providing catered dinner. The abstract is as follows:

This joint APEA-VMPEA workshop will center on three related documents: an essay in progress entitled “Landscapes of Desolation” and two syllabi for a course with the same name. The essay is part of a broader attempt to reconsider the role of landscape and “tradition” in the context of environmentally conscious visual and literary culture representing Mainland China (mostly). In general, I am interested in how landscape has come to function as both a privileged way to represent environmental problems in China and also a practical ecocritical mode designed to move people and change behaviors. More specifically, in this essay I consider how specific art historical and cultural influences are used in three interconnected “modes” (the documentary, the trompe l’oeil and the fantastical) of what I am calling the “landscape of desolation” to support this practical ecocritical function. The essay extends some of the ideas I explore in my forthcoming book, Fixing Landscape: A Techno-Poetic History of China’s Three Gorges (Columbia, December 2018), but it emerges more directly from my experiences teaching an upper division seminar on literary and visual responses to environmental degradation in China and Taiwan. For the seminar meeting, I look forward to discussing both the article and also my experience in moving between teaching and researching. As you will see, there is significant overlap between the course materials and the primary and secondary sources I use in the article. The earliest version of this article predates these courses, though the current version really emerged out of my experiences teaching this seminar in the winter of 2016 and again in the winter of 2018.

The paper is available directly below, or at this link. If you have not received the password, or have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu).

This event is sponsored by the Committee on Chinese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies

Tuesday, May 1,  5:00 – 7:00 pm, CWAC 157

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

April 13, Katherine Tsiang

Friday, April 13,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 156 (Please note the room change from last quarter!)

Yungang to Longmen Transition?  Perspectives on Reading the Evidence

Katherine Tsiang
Associate Director, Center for the Art of East Asia |Department of Art History, University of Chicago

Bodhisattva in the Guyang Cave Longmen, dedicated by Lady Yuchi, wife of the Prince of Changle, redated to the 9th year of Taihe, 485.

This is based on a talk prepared for the Harvard workshop “Longmen Grottoes: New Perspectives” held last October at Harvard. Asked to speak on the transition between Yungang and Longmen, I examined the theme of transition on various levels and between and within different localities. This required reviewing the kinds of evidence that scholars have used in the study of these Buddhist cave shrines and different ways in which they have analyzed, prioritized, and applied this evidence to draw their conclusions. I’m continuing to reconsider the relationship between the Yungang and Longmen caves based on new readings of both textual and visual evidence. I present my talk as a modest tribute to Prof. Su Bai who died on February 1, 2018. He was a pioneering and towering figure in the study of Chinese archeology in China who I first met when he came to Chicago in the late 1980s. Su Bai was one if the founders of the program in archeology as a discipline at Peking University. He was a formidable authority on various areas of Chinese archeology and including Buddhist cave temples. Beginning in the 1950s, building on the groundbreaking study and detailed recording of Yungang and Longmen caves by Japanese scholars such as Sekino, Mizuno, and Nagahiro, Su Bai carried out his own research and refuted their conclusions about dating and periodization. His tireless spirit of inquiry and critical analysis of archeological and textual materials, as well as his kindness, are inspirational.

Friday, April 13,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 156

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

Spring Schedule 2018

Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia is proud to present our schedule for Spring 2018.

All sessions unless otherwise noted will take place on Fridays from 4:30-6:30pm in the Cochrane-Woods Art Center (CWAC) Room 156 (Please note the room change from last quarter)


Huang Rui, The Rebirth of Yuanmingyuan, 1979, Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm.

 

April 13, Katherine Tsiang, Associate Director
Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago
Department of Art History, University of Chicago
“Yungang to Longmen Transition? New Perspectives on Reading the Evidence”

*Tuesday, May 1, from 5 – 7pm in Rm. 157, Corey Byrnes, Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Literature
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Northwestern University
“Defining the Chinese Landscape of Desolation in Teaching and Research”
Co-sponsored with Art & Politics of East Asia Workshop

*Thursday, May 10, from 5 – 7pm, Yin Wu, Ph.D. Student
Department of Art History, University of Chicago
“Materiality, Text, and Image in the Chinese version of The Rules for Reciting the Rosary [誦念珠規程]

*Thursday, May 17, from 5 – 7pm, Jianpeng Wei, Visiting Student, Ph.D candidate,
Department of Archaeology, Sichuan University
“敦煌维摩诘经变的结构性演变 [Structural Evolution of Vimalakirti Sutra Illustration in Dunhuang]”
*Please note: This talk will be conducted in Chinese

May 25, Jue Hou, Ph.D. Student
John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
“Skin Deep: Corporeography from Kafka to Qiu Zhijie”

*Thursday, May 31, from 5 – 7pm, Yunfei Shao, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Art History, University of Chicago
“Picturing the Westlake in late Imperial China”

June 8, Orianna Caccione, Curator of Global Contemporary Art
The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art
“Zhang Peili: A Case Study of Contemporary Chinese Art in the Global Art World”

 

We look forward to your attendance and hope you will share this with all who might also be interested in joining our community. Please direct questions and inquiries to Nancy P. Lin at nancyplin@uchicago.edu.

March 9, Deng Fei

Friday, March 9,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 152

Popularized Landscapes: Pictures of Landscape in Tombs in Yuan China (1271—1368)

Professor Deng Fei

Associate Professor, National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Fudan University | Visiting Scholar, Harvard-Yenching Institute

Landscape painting on the north wall in Feng Daozhen’s tomb (1265) found in Datong, Shanxi

Landscape painting is generally recognized as the major category within China’s painting tradition. The visual representation of nature not only appears in art from above the ground, but also in tomb decorations under the earth. Many tombs, which depict images of landscape on their interior walls, have been found in North China during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This talk will address these materials and answer the following question: why were these pictures chosen to surround the deceased? The study will investigate various pictorial contents of the landscape paintings as well as multiple roles and meanings they assumed. By considering landscape not simply as an object to be seen, but as an instrument of cultural force, I hope to probe the cultural, social, and religious environments in which the landscape motifs were developed.

Friday, March 9,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 152

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nancy P. Lin (nancyplin@uchicago.edu)

March 2, Noriko Murai

Friday, March 2,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 152

“Current Encounters: Water Imagery in John La Farge’s Japan-Inspired Works”

Professor Noriko Murai

Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Graduate Program in Global Studies, Sophia University

John La Farge (1835-1910), A Rishi Calling Up a Storm, 1897, watercolor and gouache over graphite. Cleveland Museum of Art.

This paper examines the blending of nature and culture that frequently appears in the Japan-inspired works by the American artist John La Farge (1835-1910). In demonstrating the recurrence of water imagery in these works, it proposes that the natural element of water was not only central to La Farge’s imagination of East Asia, but also enabled the artist to visualize an intermediary realm “where the edges of the real and the imaginary melt.” His exploration of such cross-cultural space where ordinary boundaries became destabilized was moreover mediated by Okakura Kakuzō 岡倉 覚三 (aka Tenshin 天心, 1863-1913), the Japanese art historian and critic who became his lifelong friend. In the existing studies on La Farge, Okakura has typically been assigned the role of a “native informant” who taught the American the principles of East Asian philosophy. This paper challenges this one-sided account and demonstrates that their relationship was more synergetic.

Friday, March 2,  4:30 – 6:30 pm, CWAC 152

Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Zhiyan Yang (zhiyan@uchicago.edu)