May 28, 2021, by Franziska Koch

ANN: Art History of Socialist China: A State-of-the-Field Discussion, online, 18 and 19 June 2021, 2 pm CEST

Prof. Dr. Juliane Noth (Heisenberg Fellow at the Kunstgeschichtliches Seminar, Universität Hamburg) an expert of modern Chinese art history is organizing a State-of-the-Filed Discussion on the “Art History of Socialist China” in an online workshop. The international event will take place on Friday and Saturday, 18 and 19 June 2021, 2 pm CEST and presents talks by the following speakers: Yi Gu (University of Toronto), Christine I. Ho (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Juliane Noth (Universität Hamburg), Claire Roberts (University of Melbourne), and Zheng Shengtian (Institute of Asian Art, Vancouver Art Gallery/Simon Fraser University).

In recent years, scholars of Maoist China have increasingly explored the use of images, displays, and other visual materials and how they were deployed for political ends. What remains largely absent from these studies are, paradoxically, the visual and aesthetic qualities of the images and media in question, their agency and that of their creators, and thus the possibility that they might offer ambiguous and multilayered readings. Art historians on the other hand, who are trained to analyze and interpret images, have shown more interest in art-specific discourses and how individual artists responded to given tasks or settings on a formal or iconographical level. Indeed, the assumption that images produced in Maoist China possessed a lot of political, but very little artistic value might be one reason why a comparatively small number of art-historical studies have been written on Chinese art from the period between 1949 and 1979. It is only recently that several new studies have begun to more fully assess the complexity of artistic production between political exigencies and aesthetic choices. In this workshop, we will discuss methodological issues and case studies which allow us to seek new perspectives on the image production of that period as well as the relation between art, propaganda, and visual culture in a broader sense.

For the access link please register per e-mail:

You can view the full programme and abstracts at:

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