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The Other Kang Youwei

Calligrapher, Art Activist, and Aesthetic Reformer in Modern China

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Aida Yuen Wong

The Other Kang Youwei is the first in-depth study of the art historical importance of Kang Youwei (1858-1927). The most prominent constitutional monarchist who served as Emperor Guangxu’s advisor during the Hundred Days Reform of 1898, he has been discussed in previous scholarship largely as a political figure. Less well known are his achievements in calligraphy and calligraphy theory (he wrote the most comprehensive and widely-read guide to the Stele School in his day), as well as his efforts in making art a powerful instrument for national transformation. He advocated East-West synthesis, especially the adoption of Renaissance plasticity and Song Dynasty-style verisimilitude. This book evaluates his extensive and controversial impact on pictorial realism in a variety of genres: human figures, horses, landscapes, and bird-and-flower subjects (the last developing in close step with Japanese trends). Besides providing an objective assessment of his legacy in the art world, The Other Kang Youwei offers a rare integrated treatment of Chinese calligraphy, painting, and art theory of the twentieth century.

Series:

Helen Hok-Sze Leung

Abstract

This chapter draws on an analysis of three queer Hong Kong films: Island tales, Maps of Sex and Love and Ho-Yuk: Let’s Love Hong Kong. They all represent an ambiguous yet strong love for the postcolonial city that cannot be reduced to Chinese patriotism, given their focus on cosmopolitan queer subjects and the underlying yet pervasive trope of the everyday and the mundane. In the context of dramatic and unstable political, economic and social upheavals that continue to haunt Hong Kong, the love for Hong Kong cannot be reduced to patriotism. At the same time, the cosmopolitan aspirations of the city produce rather than reduce social insecurity. The films studied in this chapter respond to the crisis, not by attempting to harmonize contradictions, but, instead, they explore more radical, creative and queer ways of living with each other. The terrain of erotic desire, as explored in the films, offers space for expressions of “rooted cosmopolitanism.”

The Arts of Ornamental Geometry

A Persian Compendium on Similar and Complementary Interlocking Figures. A Volume Commemorating Alpay Özdural

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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu

This collective study focuses on a unique anonymous medieval document on ornamental geometry featuring geometrical constructions and textual instructions in Persian. Selections from the unpublished work of Alpay Özdural (d. 2003) on this subject have been updated with original contributions by Jan P. Hogendijk, Elaheh Kheirandish, Gülru Necipoğlu, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The chapters interpreting this fascinating document are followed, for the first time, by a facsimile, transcription, and translation, as well as drawings of incised construction lines invisible in the photographed facsimile.

This publication intersects with the current interest in Islamic geometrical patterning as an inspiration for tessellation and parametrically derived forms in contemporary architecture and the arts. It aims to make this celebrated source more accessible, given its multifaceted relevance to historians of art, architecture, and science, as well as mathematicians, physicists, artists, and architects.

For those who wish to obtain a copy of the full, unedited original book manuscript of Alpay Özdural, where he discusses the mathematical properties of all geometrical constructions in the Anonymous Compendium as well as the step-by-step method for drawing each one, his work is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5255416