Approaching Autonomy: Post-socialist Conceptualism in Chinese Art


This book explores works by key artists who shaped conceptualism in post-Mao China. Drawing from understudied archival materials and qualitative research, it analyzes artistic struggles for autonomy, re-evaluating Robert Rauschenberg’s 1985 exhibition in Beijing and Chinese artists’ exploration of appropriation, affect, dehumanization, and collective practice since the 1980s. A continuous development can be found in the politics and aesthetics of post-socialism, which has struggled to define its space for expression, from the 1980s until today.

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Yu-Chieh Li, Ph.D. (2018), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Digital Arts and Creative Industries at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She has held research positions at University of New South Wales (Sydney), Tate Research Centre: Asia (London), and the Museum of Modern Art (New York). Li’s research engages with aesthetics of conceptual and performance art in Asia and postcolonial art historiography. Her papers have appeared in Third Text, World Art, and Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, with an edited volume, Visual Representations of the Cold War and Postcolonial Struggles, published by Routledge (co-edited with Midori Yamamura).
scholars and undergraduate and post graduate students in art history, curatorial studies, museum studies, and Asian studies; arts educators, museum workers, and collectors
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