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ARTH361 Contemporary Chinese Art-From Modern to the Chinese Version of Post-Modernism
Hsingyuan Tsao Email address: Office: LASL 411 Office Ext.: 22410 Course Description: This course examines 20th Century Chinese art and how some of the Chinese artists transcended from the position that was dominated by the Russian cultural policy to the position that is recognized by the international art world. The course is a legacy of the ascendancy of Chinese art in the late 20th century and early 21st century. This course will also discuss how the Chinese artists negotiate their identity and ethnicity with the post-modern world. Requirements: No prerequisites. Reading assignments are heavier in some weeks than others. Two paper projects (each 5-7 pages), and a longer final paper based on your research. The length of maximum 5-7 pages is suggested for the long paper, double-spaced, and typed. Read the works that will be discussed each week before you come to class. Texts for Purchase: Arif Dirlik and Zhang Xudong, ed. Postmodernism and China: A Special Issue, Boundary 2 : an international journal of literature and culture, vol. 24, number 3, fall 1997, Duke University Press. Maria Galikowski, “The Stormy Years of the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976,” Art and Politics in China, pp. 137-174.

Selected Bibliography: Julia Andrews, Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979, Berkeley: U.C. Press, 1994. Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-garde, translation from the German by Michael Shaw, University of Minnesota Press, 1984. Matei Calinscu, Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism, Duke University Press Durham 1987. Hal Foster, ed., The Anti-aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Port Townsend, Wash: Bay Press, 1983. Hal Foster, The Return to the Real: The Avant-garde at the End of the Century. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press, 1996. Arif Dirlik and Zhang Xudong, ed. Postmodernism and China: A Special Issue, Boundary 2 : an international journal of literature and culture, vol. 24, number 3, fall 1997, Duke University Press. Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism. Indiana: 1986. Patrick Williams et. al. ed., Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory: A Reader New York: Columbia University, 1994. Yuezhi Zhao, Media, Market, and Democracy in China, Urbana & Chicago, 1998. John Hartley, Popular Reality: Journalism, Modernity, Popular Culture. Richard M. Barnhart James Cahill Wu Hung Yang Xin Nie Chongzheng Lang Shaojun Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting, Yale University Press, 1997 (ISBN: 0300070136). Maria Galikowski, Art and Politics in China, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 1998. Week one Lecture One: Orientation and introduction to Chinese Art up to 1960.


Readings: Julia Andrews, Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979. pp. 34-109, 176-200. Barnhart, Cahill, Ni, Lang, Yang, and Wu Three thousand Years of Chinese Paintings (skim) Lecture Two Introduction to Chinese art from 60s to mid-70s. Reading: Julia Andrews, Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979. pp. 314-376. Week Two: Lecture One Introduction to art before and around 1979. Presentation by Wang Gongyi who participated during this time. Reading: Julia Andrews, Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979, pp. 377-405. Gao Minglu “Toward a Transnational Modernity: An Overview of Inside Out: New Chinese Art” in Inside Out: New Chinese Art, pp. 15-40. Lecture Two The “Stars” movement, and art movements up to 1985. Consider and work on these questions for your first paper project: What is the nature of art during this period? What was the political function of art in this period? Can we find any parallel situation in countries outside China? What is the difference between the terms “avant-garde art” and “contemporary art?” Political reasons for the opening up of artistic practice, and the relationship between the avant-garde and the democracy movement in China. Your project may take the form of a short written report. Readings: Hanart Gallery, The Stars: Ten Years. Hanart Gallery: Hong Kong, 1989. Peter Burger, Theory of the Avant-garde, pp. 15-34. Maria Galikowski, “The Discovery of ‘the Self’: A New Era for Chinese Art, 1976-1984,” Art and Politics in China, pp. 175-246. Week Three: Where are we? Lecture One Readings: Hanart Gallery, The Stars: Ten Years. Hanart Gallery: Hong Kong, 1989. Skim: Calinescu Five Faces, pp. 13-94. Peter Burger, pp. 35-54. Lecture Two Culture of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1978): drama, film, pictorial art, and literiture. Vedios on reserve in IMC. Reading: Maria Galikowski, “The Stormy Years of the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976,” Art and Politics in China, pp. 137-174. Week Four: Lecture One


1985: The Year of Cultural Turmoil Note: 1985 art movements and events: (a) An article in Jiangsu huakan (Jiangsu Art Magazine) by Li Xiaoshan announced that Chinese traditional painting had reached a dead-end. (b) A new magazine, Contemporary Art Thoughts, published its first issue; it continued until 1989, when it was ordered to stop publishing. (c) The first art newspaper to be devoted mainly to contemporary art both inside and outside China, Zhongguo meishu bao, appeared; but after this newspaper published a whole page of photos taken in Tiananmen Square during the June Fourth Student Movement, it was banned by the government. Readings: Cohen, The New Chinese Painting, 1949-1986, pp. 50-89. Robert Motherwell, "The Modern Painter's World." in Art in Theory, 635-638. David Smith "Tradition and Identity" in Art in Theory, pp. 748-750. Gao Minglu, "The 1985 New Wave Art Movement" (Xerox on reserve) Lecture Two Narcissism or Nation Allegory-making Reading: Rey Chow, Primitive Passions, Columbia University Press, 1995, (ISBN 0-231-07683-5) pp.5378. Week Five: Lecture One Around the mid-80s, the economy of China took a big turn. Readings: Yuezhi Zhao, Media, Market, and Democracy in China, Urbana & Chicago, 1998, Ch. 6: “Newspapers for the Market,” pp. 127-150. Rereading Gao Minglu’s “Toward a Transnatioal Modernity” (Xerox) Lecture Two Readings: Fredric Jameson interviewed by Paik Nak-chung, “South Korea as Social Space,” in Rob Wilson and Wim Dissanayake, Global/ Local: Cultral Production and the Transnational Imaginary, Durham, 1996, pp. 348-371. Week Six Lecture One Readings: High culture of high 80s Liu Kang, “Aesthetics and Chinese Marxism,” in Positions 3:2 1995, Duke University, pp. 595629. (Xerox on reserve) Lecture Two No U-Turn: The Exhibition of 1989. The political background of the late 80s; student movements of 1986 and 1989. Discussion of the social changes brought about by the student movement of 1989. Readings: Jing Wang, High Culture Fever, ch. 6 Frederic Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” In Hal Foster, ed., Anti-aesthetics, Seattle, 1983, pp. 111-126.


Li Xianting, "Major Trends in the Development of Contemporary Chinese Art," in China's New Art, Post-1989, pp. x-xviii. On reserve. 4.Tsao Hsingyuan, "A Beijing Chronicle," in The Statue of Liberty Revisited, ed. by Wilton S. Dillon & Neil G. Kotler, Washington & London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994, pp. 102110. Yuzhi Zhao, Ch. 9 “Media Reform Beyond Commercialization.”

Week Seven Lecture One Tiananmen students’ movement and its cultural impact (video clips, on reserve) Move into the 90s Reading: Han Minzhu, Hua Sheng, ed. Cries for Democracy: Writings and Speech from the 1989 Democracy Movement, Princeton University Press, 1990. ## Lecture Two Readings: “The Art of Cynical Reason,” in Hal Foster, The Return to the Real, ch. 4. Andrew Solomon, "Their Irony, Humor (and Art) Can Save China." (Xerox on Reserve.) Geremie Barmé, "Exploit, Export, Expropriate: Artful Marketing from China, 1989-93," China's New Art, Post-1989, exhibition catalog, pp. xlvii-li. Video (on reserve). Week Eight Catching on! Lecture One Readings: Hal Foster “(Post)-Modern Polemics,” in Hal Foster, Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Culture Politics, pp. 121-136. Charles Stone, “Xu Bing and the Printed Word”; Wu Hung “A ‘Ghost Rebellion’: Notes on Xu Bing’s ‘Nonsense Writing’ and Other Works,” and Tamara Hamlish, “Prestidigitations: A Reply to Charles Stone,” in Public Culture: Society for Transnational Cultural Studies, 1994, 6: 407423. (Xerox) Wu Hung, “Counter-Monument” in Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, an exhibition catalogue, Chicago University, pp. 31-34. Lecture Two Britta Erickson, "Process and Meaning in the Art of Xu Bing" (Xerox) Sheldon Lu, “Global POSTmodernIZATION: The Intellectual, the Artist, and China’s Condition,” Boundary 2, pp. 65-97. Calinescu “On Postmodernism” in Five Faces of Modernity.

Week Nine: Postmodern? Lecture One Readings: Jonathan Arac, Chinese Posetmodernism: Toward a Global Context” in Boundary 2, pp. 262-275. Norman Bryson, “The Post-Ideological Avant-Garde” in Inside Out: New Chinese Art, pp. 51-58.


Andreas Huyssen, “Mapping the Postmodern,” in his After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism, pp. 179-221. Leo Ou-fan Lee, “Across Trans-Chinese Landscapes: Reflections on Contemporary Chinese Culture” Inside Out, pp. 41-49. Lecture Two Reading: Wang Ning, “The Mapping of Chinese Postmodernity” in Boundary 2, pp. 19-40. Andreas Huyssen, “Mapping the Postmodern,” in Joseph Natoli and Linda Hutcheon ed. A Poatmodern Reader, Albany, 1993, pp. 105-156. Week Ten Installations, young women artists Lecture One Readings: Chris Driessen et. al., ed., Another Long March: Chinese Conceptual and Installation Art in the Nineties, Breda, the Netherlands, 1997. Craig Owens “The Discourse of Other: Feminists and Postmodernism” in The Anti-Aesthetic, pp. 57-81. Lecture Two Wu Hung, “Sealed Memory” in Transience, pp. 120-126. Huang Zhuan, ed., The First Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art 96-97, Beijing, 1997, pp. 11-49. Week Eleven Installation: City, Ruins, and beyond. Lecture One Reading: Wu Hung, “Ruins, Fragmentation, and the Chinese Modern/Postmodern” in Inside Out, pp. 59-66. Dai Jinhua, “Imagined Nostalgia” in Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture, vol. 24, number 3, fall 1997, Duke University, pp. 143-161. Lecture Two Reading: Wu Hung, “Demolition Project” in Transience, pp. 109-119. Wang Mingxian “Notes on Architecture and Postmodernism in China” in Boundary 2, pp. 164175. Week Twelve Lecture One Readings: Wendy Larson, “Women and the Discourse of Desire in Postrevolutionary China: The Awkward Postmodernism of Chen Ran” in Boundary 2, pp. 201-224. Jing Wang, High Culture Fever, pp. 93-117. Lecture Two Readings: Geremie R. Barme, “Artful Marketing,” In the Red: On Contemporary Chinese Culture, Columbia University Press, New York, 1999, pp. 201-234.

Hong Kong &


Week Thirteen Final Exam Week


Works of Art From Post-Cultural-Revolution
Last Song of the Grand Historian Shao Fei (b. 1954, female) People at Ease Feng Guodong (b. 1948) Jean-Paul Sartre Zhong Ming (b. 1949) Awakening of Tarim Zhao Yoxiong (b. 1934) Blind and Silent Wang Keping (b. 1949) Long Live Chairman Mao Wang Keping New Life in the Yuanming Yuan Huang Rui (b. 1952) Double Happiness Mao Lizi A Wise Old Man who Knows How to Choose Horses Wang Huaqing (b. 1944) Tibetan Sun Jingbo (b. 1947) Self-portrait Yuan Yunsheng (b. 1937) Old Man in the Mountains Sun Weiming (b. 1946) Shining After the Rain Wang Datong (b. 1937) My Father Luo Zhongli (b. 1950) Worship Pan Chuyang (b. 1953) "Why?" Gao Xiaohua (b. 1955) X day of X month in 1968 Cheng Congling (b. 1955) The Death of an Expert in Agricultural Engineering Shao Zenghu (date unknown) Going to Town Chen Danqing (b. 1950) Retrieving the Lost Time Zeng Zhengming (b. 1952) Re-visiting Home Village Lie Tan (b. 1935) Star Lights of May Zhu Naizheng (b. 1935) Efforts Gu Yue and Ma Yiping Spring Wind is Awakening Ai Xuan (b. 1956) My Land Ai Xuan “Avant-garde” Artists and works Fang Lijun (b. 1963) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Series II, No. 7, 1991-92. Series II, No. 4, 1991-92. Landscape, No.1, 1990. Family, 1989. Series I, No. 1, 1991. Series I, No. 3, 1990. Series I, No. 4, 1991. Landscape, No. 2, 1990. Landscape, No. 3, 1990.

Gen Jianyi (b. 1961) 1. Second Condition, 1987.

Gu Wenda (b. 1954) 1. 2. Ink on Paper, 1982. Number II, 1982.


3. Backward, 1985. 4. Audience as Pawns in A Game, 1987. 5. Do You Want Us to Read and Amend on the Word "Tranquility" Written by Three Men and Three Women?, 1989. Li Shan (b. 1944) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The Rouge Series, No. 22, 1992. The Rouge Series, No. 34, 1992. The Rouge Series, No. 24, 1992. The Rouge Series, No. 33, 1992. Rouge A, 1991. Rouge B. 1991.

Liu Wei (b. 1965) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Mao Zedong, 1990. The New Generation, 1992. The Revolutionary Family: Dad & Mum, 1990. Comrades, 1990. Dad & Mum, 1990. Good Old Dad, 1991. Spring Dream in a Garden: Dad in Front of T. V., 1992. Dad & Mum, 1991. Shunzhi Emperor, 1988. Empress Dowager, 1988. Family, 1990. Long Live Our Great Leader Chairman Mao, 1991. A Noble Lady, 1988. Women in Woods, 1989. Uncles, 1992. Bird & Flower, 1989.

Lu Shengzhong (b. 1955) 1. 2. Pacing, 1989. Little Red Babies, 1989.

Wang Guangyi (b. 1957) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Worker-Peasant-Soldier and Coca-Cola, 1992. Great Criticism, 1990. Red Ration--Revision of Idol, 1987. Solidified Northern Polar Region, 1985. Mao Zedong. Red Check No. 2, 1988.

Wang Jingsong (b. 1963) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Taking a Picture in Front of Tiananmen Square, 1992. Chorus Line, 1990. Group Picture, 1991. Stage Show, 1990. Mass "Qigong", 1991. Sports, 1990. "I Have Been to the Great Wall!" 1992.


Xu Bing (b. 1954) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. A Mirror to Analyse the World (Synthetic Material), 1988. Ghost Pounding the Wall (Rubbing), 1990. A Mirror to Observe the World (Synthetic Material), 1988. Classroom Calligraphy, 1995

Ye Yongqing (b. 1958) 1. Big-character Poster, 1990.

Yu Youhan (b. 1944) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Mao Zedong and Revolution, 1990. Round-shape, 1990. Red Image of Mao Waving, 1992. Mao Out of Focus, 1992. Mao Zedong in His Home Village, 1991.

Zhang Peili (b. 1957) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Three Minutes of Washing Chicken, Anchors, 1992. Jazz, 1985. Untitled, 1992. Chinese Culturism, 1989. No Jazz for Tonight, 1987. X?, 1987.

Yin Xiuzhen (b. 1963, female) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. River-weighing, 1995 River-washing, 1995 Dress Box, 1995 Ruined City, 1996 Dinning Table, 1997 Unknitting, 1997

Lin Tianmiao (b. 1961, female) 1. Bound, Unbound, 1995-97 2. Bound, Unbound, 1995-97 3. The Temptation of Santa Teresa, 1995 4. The Proliferation of Thread Winding, 1995 5. Tree, 1997 Zhang Lei (b. 1965, female) 1. Li Qingzhao, 1995 2. Washing, Sun-dring, Lasa, Tibet, 1996 Cai Jing (b. 1965, female) 1. Shoes and Pigments, 1998


2. 3.

Bicycle sits and Pigments, 1998 Banana Groves, 1994-7

Shi Hui (b. 1957, female)

1. 2. 3. 4.

Net, 1997 Net, 1997 Net, 1998 Net 1998


1989 Exhibition: NO U-TURN 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. Xu Bing: A Mirror to Analyse the World (Synthetic Material) Gu Wenda: "Inspiration Comes From Tranqillity" (Soft-sculpture) Huang Yongping: A History of Chinese Painting (by Li Yu) and A Concise History of Modern Painting (by Herbert Read, installation). Wu Shanzhuan: Cabbage (Synthetic Material) Ding Yi + Shows, III, (Oil on Canvas) Xiao Lu and Tang Song: Dialogue (installation). Wei Guangqing: Suicide, No. I. Hou Hanru and Yang Jiechang: Action, Dialogue and Human. Wang Guangyi: Series of Post-Classic. Wang Luyan: Art of Tactile Sensation. Yu Jiyong: Composition 8510. Feng Guodong: Alarm Clock Series. Sun Baoguo: Vessal. Chen Wenji: Pink Paper. Huang Yali: Red Earth Series. Wang Chuan: Ink on Paper. Jian Jun: Existence. Wang Gongyi: Untitled. Song Gang: Diary. Shi Benming: Dream. Jiang Hai: Face. Xiao Xiaolan: Christmas. Wang Jiang: Untitled. Wu Shaoxiang: Shoe. Ding Defu: Libido Phantasies. Ye Yongqing: Escaping. Liang Yue: Urban Series. Lin Chun: Action II. Zuo Zhengyao and Luo Ying: Returning. Liu Yan: Altar. Dong Chao: Confusing Series. Zhu Yan: 3 x 3 = 9