In this course we will study Chinese art from the Neolithic era to the modern, learning how to critically analyze and discuss the materials, styles and compositions of various Chinese arts. We will also explore the religious, social, economic and political contexts that inform and gave rise to significant artistic movements and specific works. Topics will include traditional philosophies, construction of sacred space, ritual use of objects, and regional/cross-cultural interactions.
Field WorkCountry: China
The Shanghai Museum houses one of the world’s most impressive art collections, numbering over 120,000 works of art. In the exhibits dedicated to early bronze ware and tomb finds, we will directly engage the earliest strata of Chinese visual culture and trace the threads of cultural development through the centuries. The expansive sculpture galleries will enable us to examine early Buddhist art. In the extensive painting displays we will study firsthand works from each of the major artistic moments in Chinese art history. Further, we will survey and discuss the decorative and calligraphic arts on display. Drawing on our class discussions to date, the main objectives of this lab are to identify important stylistic characteristics of Chinese arts; distinguish arts informed by Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian concerns; differentiate basic artistic techniques of different eras, such as brushstrokes and materials; and discern different genres of Chinese painting and discuss possible motivations for their creation.
- Identify important stylistic characteristics of Chinese arts.
- Distinguish arts informed by Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian concerns.
- Differentiate basic artistic techniques of different eras, such as brushstrokes and materials.
- Discern different genres of Chinese painting and discuss possible motivations for their creation.