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Textualization and Performance, Authorship and Censorship of the “National Drama” of China from the Late Qing to the Present
Author: David Rolston
What was the most influential mass medium in China before the internet? Jingju (Peking opera)! Although its actors were commonly thought to have been illiterate, written and other inscripted versions of plays became more and more important and varied.
This book shows how increasing textualization and the resulting fixation of a performance tradition that once privileged improvisation changed the genre. It traces, from Jingju’s birth in the 19th century to the present, how texts were used for the production and consumption of this important performance genre and the changes in the concepts of authorship, copyright, and performance rights that took place during the process. The state’s desire to police what was performed is shown to have been a major factor in these changes.
The scope and coverage of the book is already unprecedented, but it is also supplemented by an additional chapter (on where the plays were performed, who performed them, and who went to see them) available for download online.
The first monograph devoted to women artists of the Republican period, The Golden Key recovers the history of a groundbreaking yet forgotten force in China's modern art world. Through its detailed examination of the lives and careers of six female artists—Guan Zilan, Qiu Ti, Pan Yuliang, Fang Junbi, Yu Feng, and Liang Baibo—this book argues that women were central to the emergence of modernist art in early twentieth-century China and to the nation’s larger modernization project. Amanda S. Wangwright’s analysis of a wealth of primary sources demonstrates how these women constructed public personas, negotiated space within art societies, applied feminist thought to their artistic praxis, and surmounted obstacles to their careers—wielding art as the “golden key” to professional advancement and gender equality.
Hua Yan (1682-1756) and the Making of the Artist in Early Modern China explores the relationships between the artist, local society, and artistic practice during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Arranged as an investigation of the artist Hua Yan’s work at a pivotal moment in eighteenth-century society, this book considers his paintings and poetry in early eighteenth-century Hangzhou, mid-eighteenth-century Yangzhou, and finally their nineteenth-century afterlife in Shanghai. By investigating Hua Yan’s struggle as a marginalized artist—both at his time and in the canon of Chinese art—this study draws attention to the implications of seeing and being seen as an artist in early modern China.
Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age
Author: Paul Bevan
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 dancehall culture, with a specific emphasis on 1934 – ‘The Year of the Magazine’.
The History, Architecture, and Legacy of Catholic Sacred Structures in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province
China’s Old Churches, by Alan Sweeten, surveys the history of Catholicism in China (1600 to the present) as reflected by the location, style, and details of sacred structures in three crucial areas of north China. Closely examined are the most famous and important churches in the urban settings of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as lesser-known ones in rural Hebei Province.
Missionaries built Western-looking churches to make a broad religious statement important to themselves and Chinese worshippers. Non-Catholics, however, tended to see churches as sociopolitically foreign and culturally invasive. The physical-visual impact of church buildings is significant. Today, restored old churches and new sacred structures are still mostly of Western style, but often include a sacred grotto dedicated to Our Lady of China--a growing number of Catholics supporting Marian-centered activities.
Artistic Exchange between China and the West during the Late Qing Dynasty (1796-1911)
The complex interweaving of different Western visions of China had a profound impact on artistic exchange between China and the West during the nineteenth century. Beyond Chinoiserie addresses the complexity of this exchange. While the playful Western “vision of Cathay” formed in the previous century continued to thrive, a more realistic vision of China was increasingly formed through travel accounts, paintings, watercolors, prints, book illustrations, and photographs. Simultaneously, the new discipline of sinology led to a deepening of the understanding of Chinese cultural history. Leading and emerging scholars in the fields of art history, literary studies and material culture, have authored the ten essays in this book, which deal with artistic relations between China and the West at a time when Western powers’ attempts to extend a sphere of influence in China led to increasingly hostile political interactions.
Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry
In Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard analyzes images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focusing on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. She discusses examples of visual and literary culture in regard to their authorship and audience, examining the role of interiority in constructions of gender, exploring the rhetorical functions of romantic images, and considering connections between subjectivity and representation. The paintings in particular have sometimes been interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artifacts of heteroerotic desire; Blanchard proposes that such works could additionally be interpreted as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interiorities, or models of idealized femininity.
Volume Editors: Vivienne Lo and Penelope Barrett
A unique collection of 36 chapters on the history of Chinese medical illustrations, this volume will take the reader on a remarkable journey from the imaging of a classical medicine to instructional manuals for bone-setting, to advertising and comic books of the Yellow Emperor. In putting images, their power and their travels at the centre of the analysis, this volume reveals many new and exciting dimensions to the history of medicine and embodiment, and challenges eurocentric histories. At a broader philosophical level, it challenges historians of science to rethink the epistemologies and materialities of knowledge transmission. There are studies by senior scholars from Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as emerging scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.

Thanks to generous support of the Wellcome Trust, this volume is available in Open Access.
Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938
Author: Paul Bevan
In A Modern Miscellany: Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938 Paul Bevan explores how the cartoon (manhua) emerged from its place in the Chinese modern art world to become a propaganda tool in the hands of left-wing artists. The artists involved in what was largely a transcultural phenomenon were an eclectic group working in the areas of fashion and commercial art and design. The book demonstrates that during the build up to all-out war the cartoon was not only important in the sphere of Shanghai popular culture in the eyes of the publishers and readers of pictorial magazines but that it occupied a central place in the primary discourse of Chinese modern art history.
The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang
The first scholarly monograph on Buddhist maṇḍalas in China, this book examines the Maṇḍala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas. This iconographic template, in which a central Buddha is flanked by eight attendants, flourished during the Tibetan (786–848) and post-Tibetan Guiyijun (848–1036) periods at Dunhuang. A rare motif that appears in only four cave shrines at the Mogao and Yulin sites, the maṇḍala bore associations with political authority and received patronage from local rulers. Attending to the historical and cultural contexts surrounding this iconography, this book demonstrates that transcultural communication over the Silk Routes during this period, and the religious dialogue between the Chinese and Tibetan communities, were defining characteristics of the visual language of Buddhist maṇḍalas at Dunhuang.