Toby Wu, December 3


 Arts and Politics of East Asia (APEA) & Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia (VMPEA)

★ Co-Sponsored Workshop ★


Toby Wu (MAPH)

“Reconstituting the Japanese Housewife: Idemitsu Mako’s Charged Televisual Fields in Kiyoko’s Situation (1989)”

Discussant: Thomas Lamarre (Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)

Friday, December 3, 2021

3:00 – 5:00 pm CT, Remotely via Zoom [note the different time and the online format]

(Please use this link to register for the zoom meeting.)


Please find the pre-circulated paper for this Friday’s VMPEA-APEA joint event HERE with the password: idemitsu. Please do not circulate the paper without permission. (Note: Please enter the password twice).


Abstract:

Subverting the housewife melodrama form, Idemitsu Mako’s shufu (housewife) series (1972-1989) deftly manifests the radical potential of a domestic television set to reconfigure the shufu’s subconscious. Placidly observing the austere environment of the household, Idemitsu’s televisual videos frame her shufu protagonists and the television set within the seemingly un-intruded domestic space, allowing for their repressed subconscious to emerge through the television’s charged field.

This paper provides a centripetal tracking (Joselit, After Art) of Kiyoko’s Situation (1989), Idemitsu’s penultimate televisual video work, in which Kiyoko (the protagonist) is compelled by the television set to confront the trauma of being a shufu. Through the unravelling of her past and psyche (exemplified in the television set and Kiyoko concurrently), we witness how the television set reconstitutes Kiyoko’s subjecthood, no longer just a conduit for mediation or transmission.

This paper considers the viability of extant Euro-American video art narratives to account for and explicate Idemitsu’s practice, consulting Thomas Lamarre’s notion of the technosocial charged field to expand upon the work’s medium and socio-political context. Specifically, the paper suggests why it is crucial to consider both media and cultural specificity in Idemitsu’s form of media art, reconciling how a media ecology might consider the discrete objecthood of domestic television sets. The paper proposes that Idemitsu’s televisual videos formulate a media art practice that envisages the media effects of television, while concurrently activating her feminist ideology.

Idemitsu Mako, Kiyoko’s Situation, 1989, video, color, sound, 24:40 min, (still of) 17:10.

Toby Wu is a Master’s candidate at the University of Chicago reading Art History and Media Studies. He is interested in the emergence of time based media practices in the Global Contemporary, specifically through Transpacific exchanges between Japan, Southeast Asia, and the United States of America. His Master’s thesis examined Idemitsu Mako’s techno-social reconstitution of the Japanese housewife’s subjecthood through the media effects of television. Toby is an inaugural (2021) Asia Art Archive in America & PoNJA GenKon fellow and the Graduate Curatorial Intern for Transpacific Art Histories at The Smart Museum. He has previously worked with KADIST Art Foundation (San Francisco), National Gallery Singapore and Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (Manila).

Thomas Lamarre is a scholar of media, cinema and animation, intellectual history and material culture, with projects ranging from the communication networks of 9th century Japan (Uncovering Heian Japan: An Archaeology of Sensation and Inscription, 2000), to silent cinema and the global imaginary (Shadows on the Screen: Tanizaki Jun’ichirō on Cinema and Oriental Aesthetics, 2005), animation technologies (The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation, 2009) and on television infrastructures and media ecology (The Anime Ecology: A Genealogy of Television, Animation, and Game Media, 2018). Current projects include research on animation that addresses the use of animals in the formation of media networks associated with colonialism and extraterritorial empire, and the consequent politics of animism and speciesism. His work as a translator includes major works from Japanese and French: Kawamata Chiaki’s novel Death Sentences (University of Minnesota, 2012); Muriel Combes’s Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual (MIT, 2012); and David Lapoujade’s William James: Pragmatism and Empiricsm (Duke University Press, 2019). He has also edited volumes on cinema and animation, on the impact of modernity in East Asia, on pre-emptive war, and formerly, as Associate Editor of Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga, and the Fan Arts, a number of volumes on manga, anime, and fan cultures. He is co-editor with Takayuki Tatsumi of a book series with the University of Minnesota Press entitled “Parallel Futures,” which centers on Japanese speculative fiction. Current editorial work includes a co-edited volume on Chinese animation with Daisy Yan Du and a co-edited volume on Digital Animalities with Jody Berland. He previously taught in East Asian Studies and Communications Studies at McGill University. As James McGill Professor Emeritus of Japanese Media Studies at McGill University, he continues to work with the Moving Image Research Laboratory, funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and partnered by local research initiatives such as Immediations, Hexagram, and Artemis.

Zhengqian Li, December 1

 Zhengqian Li (MAPH Student)

“Objects as Political Symbols: Imperialist Merchandise in Mu Shiying and Shi Zhecun’s Modernist Fiction”

Discussant: Haun Saussy (Professor of Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages & Civilizations, and Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago)

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

4:45 – 6:45 pm CT, Hybrid (In-person at CWAC 152 + Remotely via Zoom)


*Please use this form to sign-up for attending the event in-person, so that we could better keep track of the number of attendees; If you would like to attend remotely, you may register here to receive the zoom link

* Based on the university policy on COVID, we will only be able to allow maximum 25 people inside the venue, and mask will be required throughout the event. Light, individually-packed snacks and drinks will be provided to be taken after the workshop. 


Abstract:

Based on Fredric Jameson’s Marxist hermeneutics, this research investigates how imperialist and colonialist presence in Mu Shiying and Shi Zhecun’s semi-colonial Shanghai are visible through symbolic objects. As ways to examine the Reality reflected in Mu and Shi’s short stories, relevant studies juxtapose primary texts with local and global cultural contexts, domestic and international politics, as well as historical research on the city of Shanghai (See Sean Macdonald, “‘Modernism’ in Modern Chinese Literature”; Yomi Braester, “Shanghai’s Economy of the Spectacle”; and relevant chapters in Leo Lee’s Shanghai Modern and Shu-mei Shi’s The Lure of the Modern). While this research still takes Shanghai as the background for discussion, the core focus is on the art and commercial history of imperialist and colonial politics implied by the objects in public space. With the application of the concept of the political unconscious, this study discovers politically symbolic elements in the merchandise (Johnnie Walker whiskey, Lucky Strike, Ruby Queen, Victory cigarettes) appeared in Mu and Shi’s stories. Such findings demonstrate that the imperial authority’s influence on the semi-colonized is tangible not only when an authority figure exerts power, but also culturally and socially observable when the authority is physically absent. Rather than depending upon the presence of a person, e.g., royalty, the imperial power of late 19th and early 20th century Great Britain, and of industrialized western countries broadly speaking, exist in multiple forms and constantly project their influence on the Shanghai residents and the people of less “modernized” areas around the globe.

 

“Ruby Queen” advertisement on Chinese newspaper Business News.Wing Tai Vo Tobacco Corp. Business News no.0002, April 19, 1924. 永泰和煙草股份有限公司 《工商新聞》 1924年4月19日 [0002版]

 

Zhengqian (Ian) Li is currently a MAPH student at the University of Chicago and has received a Comparative Literature BA from Middlebury College. His short story “The Smothering” is published in Chicago Quarterly Review (volume 34). His poem “The Road Ahead” was published in China Poetry in 2013 and the non-fiction collection Sometimes was published the same year. Ian has worked at the online magazine US-China Today as an editor in 2018 and presented at Beijing International Studies University in 2017 and Johns Hopkins University’s Macksey Symposium in 2021.

Haun Saussy is University Professor at the University of Chicago, teaching in the departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages & Civilizations as well as in the Committee on Social Thought. His work attempts to bring the lessons of classical and modern rhetoric to bear on several periods, languages, disciplines and cultures. Among his books are The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (1994), Great Walls of Discourse (2001), The Ethnography of Rhythm (2016), Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out (2017), Are We Comparing Yet? (2019), The Making of Barbarians: Chinese Literature in Multilingual Asia (forthcoming, 2022) and the edited collections Sinographies (2007), Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2008), and Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader (2010). As translator, he has produced versions of works by Jean Métellus (When the Pipirite Sings, 2019) and Tino Caspanello (Bounds, 2020), among others. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Stephanie Lee, November 10th

Speaker: Stephanie Lee (Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University)

“The Social Lives of Picture Postcards

Discussant: Kaeun Park (Ph.D. Student, University of Michigan)

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

4:45 – 6:45 pm CT, Remotely via Zoom


*Please use this link to register for the zoom meeting.


Abstract:

This paper reads a select group of colonial Korean picture postcards in the East Asia Image Collection at Lafayette University. These postcards, or e-hagaki 絵葉書 flourished from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. With the standardization of domestic and international postal services and reprographic technologies, ehagaki and its artists illuminated curated snapshots of culture, craft, colonial women, and landscapes for ravenous collectors and tourists. Commissioned by both public bodies like the Government General of Chosŏn and Japanese Government Railways, as well as private entities, like artist-owned sōsaku hanga 創作版画 publishers, postcards allowed Japanese modernist aesthetics, local color, and intimate configurations of labor to be shared with a wide circle of international consumers. In this presentation, I will explore how the picture postcard’s materiality mediates time and knowledge formation at the turn of the century and contemporaneous intimate practices which would change the meanings of the picture postcards.

 

Envelope for a set of picture postcards. Chosen Customs. Set 3. c.1918-1933. East Asian Image Library, Lafayette University.

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Stephanie Lee studies early modern and modern printmaking, specializing in Dutch and Japanese works-on-paper. Her work is particularly concerned with the role of prints and printmaking in the processes of transcultural mediation within the Japanese Empire. She is currently a Legal Fellow at the Center for Legal Studies and a doctoral student in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University. 

 

Kaeun Park looks at histories of modern and contemporary art and visual culture, with a focus on photography in Korea. She received her Master’s degree in Art History from Binghamton University, and her thesis was titled “Reconsidering Everyday Life Photography: Saenghwalchuŭi Sajin in South Korea in the 1950s and the 1960s”. Her thesis analyzes the discourse of “everyday life photography” and the photographic practice it sustained in South Korea during the 1950s and 1960s. She examines the cultural, artistic, and political conditions under which the conception of “everyday life photography” emerged and was promoted, analyzing the ways in which “everyday life” photographs related to Koreans’ experience of “everyday life (saenghwal)” and also opened a space for social critique.

In her Ph.D. dissertation, she hopes to continue her research on photography from cross-disciplinary and multiregional perspectives. Her dissertation examines postwar South Korean documentary photographic practices. Besides working on photography, she has written on a wide range of topics related to Korean art such as architecture and commercial design during the colonial period, 1970s performance art, and ecological art practices in the late 1980s, among other things. 

Lucien Sun, October 27th

Speaker: Lucien Sun (Ph.D. Student, Department of Art History)

Flipping Over and Stretching Out: Reading an Accordion-Fold Painting

Discussant: Shiqiu Liu (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Melbourne)

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

5:45 – 7:45 pm CT, Remotely via Zoom


*Please use this link to register for the zoom meeting.


Abstract:

A new binding format—a long sheet of paper folded back and forth to formulate the shape of an accordion—emerged in China during the Tang–Song transition. Historians of book usually refer to it as jingzhe zhuang 經折裝. Few have considered, however, the specificity of this accordion-fold binding style as art medium, despite that many sutras contain a multi-page frontispiece illustration. This special format allows the viewer to flip over pages of picture like reading an illustrated bound book and meanwhile stretch out several consecutive pages, fold them, and proceed as if rolling a handscroll. In this paper, I will study a twelfth-century Buddhist painting attributed to the artist Zhang Shengwen 張勝溫 of the Dali Kingdom. My analysis of this painting concentrates on the complicated relations between the accordion-fold medium and the images it bears, a path that hardly anyone has taken before. The first six pages of the painting that depict the procession of the Dali emperor Zhixing and his entourage provide us with a starting point to formulate some structural principles that the artist followed when working on an accordion fold. Several symmetrical scenes of different scale in this painting further demonstrate how the artist reconciled the conflict between the desired iconic composition and the material circumstances of this format. Through a close reading of this painting, I intend to come up with a preliminary set of features that characterize the incredible flexibility of this popular East Asian art medium in relation to the artist, the viewer and the images it bears.

 

Zhang Shengwen. Dali Emperor Duan Zhixing and his entourage worshipping the Buddha. Pages 1–6. 1173–1176 CE. Each page H. 30.4 cm x W. 12 cm. Color on paper. National Palace Museum, Taipei.

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Lucien Sun  is a PhD student in in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Fudan University, Shanghai. He also spent a year at the University of Tokyo studying Japanese collections of Chinese and East Asian art. He is currently interested in how picture in its broad sense moved across space, borders, and visual media in north China between the eleventh to the fourteenth century.

 

Shiqiu Liu is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne and holds a MA from the University of St Andrews. Her current research is on art works produced under the cultural exchanges stimulated by the Mongol rule of Eurasia in the fourteenth century, focusing especially on works made by professional artisans for those ethnically non-Chinese in Yuan China. She is interested in pre-modern artistic exchanges through cultural communications between China and areas around East and Central Asia.

Sylvia Fan Wu, October 13

Speaker: Sylvia Fan Wu (Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History)

“Inscribing Piety: Monumental Inscriptions from Quanzhou”

Discussant: Wei-cheng Lin (Associate Professor of Art History and the College, Department of Art History)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

4:45 – 6:45 pm CST, Hybrid (In-person in CWAC 152 + Zoom)


*If you would like to attend in-person, please use this form to sign-up; If you would like to attend remotely, you may register here to receive the zoom link. 

*Based on the university policy on COVID, we will only be able to allow maximum 25 people inside the venue, and mask will be required throughout the event. 


Abstract:

Quanzhou’s Ashab Mosque has often been discussed for its foreign-looking architectural forms and the material choice of stone. Few have contemplated the Quranic verses that were carved onto both the interior and exterior walls of the mosque complex. These monumental inscriptions constitute the majority of the sober decorative program in this Muslim sanctuary and are imbued with iconographic meanings that speak to piety. This paper examines the inscriptions found in the Ashab Mosque and around the city of Quanzhou and explores the pious messaging behind their formal, iconographic and material qualities.

unnamed.jpg

The Ashab Mosque, qibla wall, 14th or 16th century, Quanzhou, China (Credit: Cherie Wendelken)

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Sylvia Wu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. She studies the architecture and material culture of medieval Indian Ocean with a particular focus on China’s coastal areas. Her dissertation, Mosques of Elsewhere, examines how knowledge of legendary monuments of the Islamic world had informed the blueprints of mosque building in China’s southeastern ports, or rather distracted us from recognizing the mosques’ local attributions.

Wei-Cheng Lin is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. He specializes in the history of Chinese art and architecture with a focus on medieval periods. His primary interests of research are visual and material cultural issues in Buddhist art and architecture and China’s funerary practice through history. He is the author of Building a Sacred Mountain: The Buddhist Architecture of China’s Mount Wutai, published by the University of Washington Press in 2014. He has additionally published on a variety of topics, including collecting history, photography and architecture, historiography of Chinese architectural history, and contemporary Chinese art.

Autumn 2021 Schedule

Dear VMPEA community,

The Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia (VMPEA) workshop is pleased to announce the Autumn 2021 schedule. All the in-person events will meet on selected Wednesdays from 4:45 to 6:45 pm in CWAC 152 unless noted. For the online events or those who would like to join us remotely, we will send out the registration links prior to the events.

 

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October 13

Sylvia Wu, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History, UChicago

“Inscribing Piety: Monumental Inscriptions from Quanzhou”

Discussant: Wei-Cheng Lin, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, UChicago

 

October 27

Lucien Sun, PhD Student, Department of Art History

“Flipping Over and Stretching Out: Reading an Accordion-Fold Painting”

Discussant: Shiqiu Liu, PhD candidate, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.

[This is an online event]

 

November 10

Stephanie Lee, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History, Northwestern University

“The Social Lives of Colonial Picture Postcards (1906-1933)”

Discussant: Kaeun Park, PhD student, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan

[This is an online event]

 

December 1

Zhengqian Li, MAPH Student, UChicago

“Whiskey and Tobacco: The Imperialist Symbols in Mu Shiying’s “Shanghai Fox-trot” and Shi Zhecun’s “Si Xizi’s Business””

Discussant: TBA

 

December 3

Toby Wu, MAPH Student, UChicago

“Reconstituting the Japanese Housewife: Idemitsu Mako’s Televisual Charged Field in Kiyoko’s Situation (1989)”

Discussant: TBA

[This is an online event co-hosted with the APEA workshop, and will meet from 3:00 to 5:00 pm]

 

*Disclaimer on in-person events:

These convenings are open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.

Sooa Im McCormick, June 2

Speaker: Sooa Im McCormick (Curator of Korean Art, Cleveland Museum)

Korean Paper, a Trendy Item in Late Ming Literati Circle

Discussant: Yoon-Jee Choi (PhD student, Department of Art History)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
4:45 – 6:45 pm CST, Zoom meeting (please find the registration link below)

 

Abstract:

Any wars result in, not to mention significant loss of life, economic destruction, and human dislocation, but also opportunities for unexpected cultural and material transfers. Korean papers of variety including Mirror Surface Paper 鏡面紙, White Silky Paper 白綿紙 were among stable tributary gifts to the Ming imperial court, but during the Japanese invasion (1592-1598) they were increasingly demanded than before. These imported Korean papers were not exclusively used in the imperial court, but soon gained a new life as a trendy commodity when it entered the circle of leading literati artists such as Dong Qichang.

By locating Korean paper in the material world of late Ming-period literati artists, this research attempts to uncover how gift-exchange in a tributary system between China and Korea fashioned new artistic identities of Korean paper, to examine what materialistic features of Korean paper led late Ming artists to involve it in their artistic endeavors, such as the case of Dong Qichang’s River and Mountains on a Clear Autumn Day 江山秋霽圖 in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and finally to highlight the role of Korean imports in Chinese visual and material culture.
Dong Qichang 董其昌, River and Mountains on a Clear Autumn Day 江山秋霽圖 (1624–27), Handscroll: Ink on Korean paper, Painting only: 38.4 x 136.8 cm, The Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

Zoom Registration Link:
https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrduiqqDoqGdOs4gbVEO7AQKb2sS5r_zz2

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting (Recently, Zoom confirmations also tend to be categorized as Spam. Please also check your spam box for the confirmation email.).

 

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Dr. Sooa Im McCormick is Curator of Korean Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She holds a PhD from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree from Rutgers University. Recently, she curated the exhibitions Interpretation of Materiality: Gold (4/30/2021-10/24/2021), as well as Gold Needles: Korean Embroidery Arts (3/8/2020-10/25/2020). While pursuing her curatorial career, Dr. McCormick remains active as a cutting-edge scholar. Her publications include “Re-Reading the Imagery of Tilling and Weaving of Eighteenth-Century Korean Genre Painting in the Context of the Little Ice Age,” in Anthology of Mountains and Rivers (without) End: Eco-Art History in Asia (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019) and “The Politics of Frugality: Environmental Crisis and Eighteenth-Century Korean Visual Culture,” in Forces of Nature (Cornell University Press, 2022).

 

Yoon-Jee Choi is a PhD student whose research revolves around material culture and inter-regional influence within East Asian art history, particularly concentrating on the latter half of Joseon Dynasty and modern Korean art history. She received her BA in Division of International Studies and History of Art from Ewha Womans University. She has completed her coursework for her MA in History of Art and is currently working on her thesis on Korean monkey paintings during the late Joseon Dynasty. She has interned for the National Museum of Korea and worked as a research assistant for the Asian Museum Institute in Seoul. Her current interests lie in Korean paintings that reflect diverse foreign interactions during the late 19th century.

RAVE + VMPEA | QP Symposium Part One and Two: May 12 and 19

Speakers (PhD Students, Art History Department):

Part One (May 12th, 2021):

Jenny Harris, “Worlds of Wire: Ruth Asawa’s Sculpture” (4:45 – 5:15 PM)

Li Jiang, “Replicating Death: The Gold Funerary Mask of Princess of the State of Chen (1018)” (5:15 – 5:45 PM)

Stephanie Strother, “‘Fashionable Things’: The Designs and Designers of the Atelier Martine” (5:45 – 6:15 PM)

*Overall discussion is from 6:15 – 6:45 PM

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

4:45 – 6:45 pm CST, Zoom Registration Link (resister here)

 

Part Two (May 19th, 2021):

Lucien Sun, “A Print in Flux: Rethinking the Print of Guan Yu from Khara-Khoto” (4:45 – 5:15 PM)

Lex Ladge, “Hieronian Impositions: Space and Policy in 3rd Century BCE Syracuse” (5:15 – 5:45 PM)

Adriana Obiols Roca, “Mesótica II: Central American Art After ‘Latin America’” (5:45 – 6:15 PM)

* Overall discussion is from 6:15 – 6:45 PM

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

4:45 – 6:45 pm CST, Zoom Registration Link (resister here)

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting (Recently, Zoom confirmations also tend to be categorized as Spam. Please also check your spam box for the confirmation email.).

 

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Jenny Harris is a Ph.D. student focusing on 20th-century art. Her research interests include performance, intersections of dance and visual arts, and the status of decoration and craft in postwar American art. Prior to arriving at the University, she worked in The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Painting and Sculpture where most recently she participated in the reinstallation of the collection galleries and co-organized the exhibition The Shape of Shape, Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman (2019, with Michelle Kuo). She has also contributed to the exhibitions The Long Run (2017-18), Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends (2017), and One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North (2015). Jenny graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Art History in 2012.

Li Jiang is a Ph.D. student of East Asian art history, focusing primarily on funerary art in ancient and early medieval China. Li Jiang received her MA from the University of Chicago in 2018. Her thesis examined the fragments of a lacquer screen from an elite burial of the Northern Wei dynasty. Her current research involves the material cultural and inter-regional issues in northeast Asian tomb arts from the fourth to seventh centuries.

Stephanie Strother is a Ph.D. student focusing on art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her research interests include the relationship between art and craft at the turn of the century, popular reception and consumption, and global circuits of visual and material culture. She earned a BA from Carleton College in 2010 and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2017. From 2017 to 2019 she was the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies Graduate Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago. In this role she authored curatorial entries and an essay for a digital catalogue on the museum’s collection of paintings and drawings by James McNeill Whistler, which was published in 2020.

Lucien Sun is a Ph.D. student of East Asian visual and material culture at the University of Chicago. His current research interests lie broadly in Chinese art from the tenth to seventeenth century, especially the visual and material culture in northern China during the Jin–Yuan periods and its exchange with Central and West Asia. He recently co-wrote with the COSI Rhoades Curatorial Intern Yang Zhiyan a blog article for the Art Institute of Chicago titled “A Seamless Painting Simply Does Not Exist” that demonstrates how paper seams of a Yuan dynasty handscroll may shed new light on the painting’s composition, material medium, and conservation history. He has also written about images of filial piety stories at tombs in north China during the Yuan period. He received his BA at Fudan University, Shanghai.

Lex Ladge is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History. She studies Greek and Roman art and architecture, with a focus on urbanism and spatial experiences in the Hellenistic and Imperial Roman periods.

Adriana Obiols Roca is a Ph.D. student studying modern art of Latin America. Her research focuses on Central American art from the second half of the twentieth century. Adriana holds an MA in art history from Tulane University (2019) and a BA in English Literature from Swarthmore College (2016). Her MA thesis, “‘Para el ala y para el vuelo’: Photography and Nation in Revista Alero”, centered on the interaction between photography and student nationalism in 1970s Guatemala.

Wang Lianming, May 7

Speaker: Wang Lianming (Assistant Professor of Chinese Art History, Heidelberg University)

Revisiting the Jesuit Gardens in Eighteenth-Century Beijing

Discussant: Yin Wu (PhD candidate, Art History, The University of Chicago)

May 7th (Friday), 2021

12-2pm CDT, Zoom meeting (please find the registration link below)

 

Abstract:
In the early modern world, the Jesuit gardens arguably became a transcultural phenomenon mate-rializing the transfer of elite knowledge, culture, and ideas. Drawing on a variety of recently un-covered materials from Paris and St. Petersburg, this talk discusses the crucial role of the Beijing Jesuit gardens played in the early-modern dynamics of botanical and horticultural practices. This is achieved by examining their functions as walk-in spaces of transcultural experience, experi-mental spaces of artistic entanglements, and places of fruitful encounters of knowledge. These garden sites, as I will argue, were the missing link between European Renaissance culture and knowledge, Qing court art, and collecting practices of the European Jesuit patrons.

The panoramic view of the Jesuit Beitang residence and its garden space, color on paper, ca. 1830/31. St. Petersburg, Kunstkamera – Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, inventory number 667-261.

 

Zoom Registration Link:

https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlf-uqqzsoHNNslm-puhmFJ_6LP6hmuXjZ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting (Recently, Zoom confirmations also tend to be categorized as Spam. Please also check your spam box for the confirmation email.).

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Wang Lianming is an Assistant Professor of Chinese Art History at Heidelberg University. His areas of research include early-modern global encounters of arts and culture and artistic practices and materiality related to transterritorial animals. Wang has taught at the University of Würzburg and was a Postdoc Fellow (2018/19) of the research group “Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices” at the Berlin-based Forum Transregional Studies, led by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Society. Wang has organized many workshops and conferences related to Sino-European exchanges, including The Jesuit Legacies: Images, Visuality, and Cosmopolitanism in Qing China (chief organizer, 2015), Reframing Chinese Objects: Practices of Collecting and Displaying in Europe and the Islamic World, 1400-1800 (co-organizer, 2018), and Before the Silk Road: Eurasian Interactions in the First Millennium BC (chief-organizer, 2019). He was awarded the Klaus-Georg and Sigrid Hengstberger Prize by the Heidelberg University in 2018, and the Academy Prize by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2021.

 

Yin Wu is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History. Her research focuses on the cross-cultural exchange of objects between China and the West at the Qianlong Emperor’s court in the 18th century, exploring how the Western objects were transformed into new visual and material forms and create new political and cultural meanings in the Qing empire.

 

 

Zhenru Zhou, Apr 21st

The VMPEA Workshop is pleased to welcome Zhenru Zhou (PhD candidate, Art History) as our next speaker to share her project “Anarchitectonic pagoda images from late-medieval Dunhuang.” We are also very happy to have Dr. Katherine Tsiang (Associate Director, Center for the Art of East Asia) serving as the discussant.

Please watch the Panopto Presentation in advance to join the Zoom session:
https://uchicago.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=b12cf952-1946-4f5a-9e88-ad10002ae20f

 

Please note this VMPEA session will take a slightly different format and start at a different time:

Wednesday, Apr 21st, 2021

5:30-6:45 pm CDT,

Zoom session for response and questions only (please find the registration link below)

 

Abstract:
Among the numerous portable artifacts found at the Dunhuang Caves, some are particularly indicative of the production of the unportable art and architecture, namely, the decorated Buddhist cave-temple. While the Dunhuang artists’ sketches and stencils in general have been associated with figural representations as seen in wall paintings and mandalic designs for ceilings or altars, it remains understudied how the cave architecture has been designed, conceptualized, and implemented. In response to the question, this paper explores a curious design trend of de-emphasizing the architectonic construct of an architectural space, which is evident in portable paintings, reliquaries, mural paintings and repaintings, caves, and even cave groups in late-medieval Dunhuang. In particular, the paper juxtaposes a few little-studied drawings originally deposited in the Dunhuang Library Cave with the repainted murals that later concealed the cave to unveil the dialectic relationship between image-making and cave-making. In addition, the study of cross-media artistic practices at Dunhuang will shed new light on a paradigm shift in visualizing the Buddhist Pure Lands in northwest China of the 10-11th centuries.

Picture of Many Sons Pagoda, ink on paper, 41.6 x 28 cm, 9th-10th century CE. Deposited in Mogao Cave 17, Dunhuang, China, now in the National Museum, New Delhi, India.

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Zhenru Zhou studies Buddhist art and architecture in China and along the Silk Roads, with a focus on cave-temples in Northwest China. She received an M. Arch degree from Princeton University in 2016, and another M. Arch and a B. Arch degree from Tsinghua University (China). Her dissertation project, titled “Between the Virtual and the Real: A New Architecture of the Mogao Caves (Dunhuang, China) in 781-1036 CE,” explores the complexity of cave architecture regarding its hybrid materiality and visuality, construction and reconstruction over time.

Katherine R. Tsiang is a scholar of Chinese art of the Medieval Period, a period of extensive multicultural interaction during which the northern part of China was controlled predominantly by non-Han Chinese rulers and Buddhism, initially introduced from India and Central Asia, became the predominant religion. Her recent research has focused on the art and visual culture of Chinese tombs and Buddhist cave shrines and deals with the transformative impact of multicultural, social, religious, and funerary ideologies on artistic production of the fifth through eighth centuries.