East Asian Metapainting? Revisiting Literati Painting in China and Beyond (80856)

Session Information: Interdisciplinary Arts and Humanities
Session Chair: Jiehua Cai

Sunday, 26 May 2024 16:05
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Chinese traditional art does apparently not constitute an exception to André Chastel’s theorem that art itself has an “invincible tendency” to represent its own making within the “bosom” of that very art. On the contrary, Chinese pictorial art seems to fit neatly into the line of his argumentation and proves once more Chastel’s breadth of vision. The proposed presentation will thus re-think Chastel’s insights within the framework of Chinese traditional art theory and then re-visit selected literati paintings from the Chinese, Korean and Japanese tradition to probe into an East-Asian concept of “pictures-within-pictures.” As will be shown, the various techniques and topics for the visual expression of self-reflectivity cannot be understood without taking the religious influences on the art discourse into account. In a first step, we will therefore re-discuss the social function of displaying art and the artificial display of the prominent “mountain-and-water” (landscape) paintings within paintings. A closer look at the requirements for painting in the new literati painting style and for savoring their artwork, as witnessed in the theoretical writings of their time, will help to phrase the terminological basis for discussing the origins of East Asian “metapainting”. A guided tour through a handful of literati works will finally trace the reflective capacities of ink paintings beyond the Chinese horizon that has been at the center of the seminal works of Wu Hung, Craig Clunas and others.

Jiehua Cai, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany

About the Presenter(s)
PD Dr. habil. Jiehua Cai is currently Associate Professor of Sinology at the Institute of Sinology at LMU Munich, Germany.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00