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The Social Lives of Chinese Objects is the first anthology of texts to apply Arjun Appadurai’s well-known argument on the social life of things to the discussion of artefacts made in China. The essays in this book look at objects as “things-in-motion,” a status that brings attention to the history of transmissions ensuing after the time and conditions of their production. How does the identity of an object change as a consequence of geographical relocation and/ or temporal transference? How do the intentions of the individuals responsible for such transfers affect the later status and meaning of these objects? The materiality of the things analyzed in this book, and visualized by a rich array of illustrations, varies from bronze to lacquered wood, from clay to porcelain, and includes painting, imperial clothing, and war spoils. Metamorphoses of value, status, and function as well as the connections with the individuals who managed them, such as collectors, museum curators, worshipers, and soldiers are also considered as central to the discussion of their life. Presenting a broader and more contextual reading than that traditionally adopted by art-historical scholarship, the essays in this book take on a multidisciplinary approach that helps to expose crucial elements in the life of these Chinese things and brings to light the cumulative motives making them relevant and meaningful to our present time.
Following the Tea Ritual from China to West Africa
Green tea, imported from China, occupies an important place in the daily lives of Malians. They spend so much time preparing and consuming the sugared beverage that it became the country’s national drink. To find out how Malians came to practice the tea ritual, this study follows the beverage from China to Mali on its historical trade routes halfway around the globe. It examines the circumstances of its introduction, the course of the tea ritual, the equipment to prepare and consume it, and the meanings that it assumed in the various places on its travel across geographical regions, political economies, cultural contexts, and religious affiliations.
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From prehistoric bone flutes to Confucian bell-sets, from ancient divination to his beloved qin, this book presents translations of thirteen seminal essays on musical subjects by Jao Tsung-i. In language as elegant and refined as the ancient texts he so admired, his journey takes readers through Buddhist incantation, the philosophy of musical instruments, acoustical numerology, lyric poetry, historical and sociological contexts, manuscript studies, dance choreography, repertoire formulation, and opera texts. His voice is authoritative and intimate, the expert crafting his arguments, both accessible and sophisticated, succinct and richly tapestried; and concealed within a deft modesty is a thinker privileging us with his most profound observation. The musician’s musician, the scholar’s scholar, bold yet cautious, flamboyant yet restrained, a man for all seasons, a harmoniousness of time and place.
Through an innovative interdisciplinary reading and field research, Igor Chabrowski analyses the history of the development of opera in Sichuan, arguing that opera serves as a microcosm of the profound transformation of modern Chinese culture between the 18th century and 1950s. He investigates the complex path of opera over this course of history: exiting the temple festivals, becoming a public obsession on commercial stages, and finally being harnessed to partisan propaganda work. The book analyzes the process of cross-regional integration of Chinese culture and the emergence of the national opera genre. Moreover, opera is shown as an example of the culture wars that raged inside China’s popular culture.
Familiarity and the Material Culture of North China, 1000-2000
Author:
At the intersection of art and religious history, this work suggests a fresh method for studying Chinese gods and sacred places. Susan Naquin tells the full story of the transformations of the Lady of Mount Tai, North China’s most important female deity, and her mountain home. This generously illustrated visual history presents a rich array of overlooked statues, prints, murals, and paintings of gods that were discovered in museums, auctions, and extensive travel. By focusing on ordinary images, temples, and region-based materiality Naquin demonstrates how this flexibly gendered new god flourished while her male predecessor was neglected. Both suffered greatly during the last century, but Mount Tai continues to be a culturally significant monument and China’s most popular tourist mountain.
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Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Auction Market examines the rapid rise of the global market for Chinese Contemporary art across the turn of the millennium. Focusing on key auction events, it traces the systematic and strategic role played by auction houses in promoting the work of ‘avant-garde’ Chinese artists, transforming them into multi-million-dollar global art superstars. Anita Archer’s research into this emerging art market reveals a powerful global network of collectors, curators, dealers and auction house specialists whose understanding of the mechanics of value formation in the global art world consolidated a framework for the promotion of Chinese Contemporary art to a Western audience.
Commercial Networks, Brand Creation and Intellectual Property
Every month tons of green tea travel from China to West Africa in a movement that largely thrives beyond the attention of Western observers. In this trade, Malian merchants assumed a central role. They travel to China, visit family gardens and the factories, which process and package the product. Together with their Chinese suppliers, they select the tea leaves and create their brand. On Bamako’s largest market, the Grand Marché, more than a hundred different tea brands are found, whose packages have colourfully, often eye-catching designs with brand-names such as Gazelle, Tombouctou, Arafat and Obama. This book explores the unique tea culture that celebrates with its brands the strength of desert animals, the fading glory of trading places, the excitement of social events and the accomplishments of admired politicians.
Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age
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In Intoxicating Shanghai, Paul Bevan explores the work of a number of Chinese modernist figures in the fields of literature and the visual arts, with an emphasis on the literary group the New-sensationists and its equivalents in the Shanghai art world, examining the work of these figures as it appeared in pictorial magazines. It undertakes a detailed examination into the significance of the pictorial magazine as a medium for the dissemination of literature and art during the 1930s. The research locates the work of these artists and writers within the context of wider literary and art production in Shanghai, focusing on art, literature, cinema, music, and dance hall culture, with a specific emphasis on 1934 – ‘The Year of the Magazine’.
From Animators’ Perspectives
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Please visit our blog to read an interview with Daisy Yan Du.

This volume on Chinese animation and socialism is the first in English that introduces the insider viewpoints of socialist animators at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio in China. Although a few monographs have been published in English on Chinese animation, they are from the perspective of scholars rather than of the animators who personally worked on the films, as discussed in this volume. Featuring hidden histories and names behind the scenes, precious photos, and commentary on rarely seen animated films, this book is a timely and useful reference book for researchers, students, animators, and fans interested in Chinese and even world animation.

This book originated from the Animators’ Roundtable Forum (April 2017 at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), organized by the Association for Chinese Animation Studies.
Handbook of the Colour Print in China 1600-1800 is a ground-breaking volume of collected research into colour woodblock printed imagery produced in early modern China. The emergence and development of colour woodblock imagery occurred first in book illustrations and then in single-sheet prints.

Leading scholars of Chinese print culture trace the emergence of a sophisticated and fully developed colour woodblock print technology between the late Ming and mid-Qing. This volume examines the impact of colour prints on Qing visual culture through interdisciplinary studies investigating literary and artistic contexts, social and economic histories, and dating through European inventoried collections.

Richly illustrated with full-colour reproductions, this volume is an essential contribution to the future study of Chinese print and book culture.