Sensible Politics

William A. Callahan, Sensible Politics: Visualizing International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2020).
Discount code ASFLYQ6: so paperback is $19.57

Book abstract:

Visual images are everywhere in international politics. But how are we to understand them? In Sensible Politics, William A. Callahan uses his expertise in theory and filmmaking to explore not only what visuals mean, but also how visuals can viscerally move and connect us in “affective communities of sense.”

The book’s rich analysis of visual images (photographs, film, art) and visual artifacts (maps, veils, walls, gardens, cyberspace) shows how critical scholarship needs to push beyond issues of identity and security to appreciate the creative politics of social-ordering and world-ordering. Continue reading

Drawing from Life

Drawing from Life: Sketching and Socialist Realism in the People’s Republic of China
By Christine I. Ho
University of California Press, 2020.

Drawing from Life explores revolutionary drawing and sketching in the early People’s Republic of China (1949–1965) in order to discover how artists created a national form of socialist realism. Tracing the development of seminal works by the major painters Xu Beihong, Wang Shikuo, Li Keran, Li Xiongcai, Dong Xiwen, and Fu Baoshi, author Christine I. Ho reconstructs how artists grappled with the representational politics of a nascent socialist art. The divergent approaches, styles, and genres presented in this study reveal an art world that is both heterogeneous and cosmopolitan. Through a history of artistic practices in pursuit of Maoist cultural ambitions—to forge new registers of experience, new structures of feeling, and new aesthetic communities—this original book argues that socialist Chinese art presents a critical, alternative vision for global modernism.

Christine I. Ho is Assistant Professor of East Asian Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Continue reading

#MeToo at CAFA

Source: Sup China (1/21/20)
#MeToo At China’s Most Prestigious Art School
THE EDITORS

CAFA

Photo credit: SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

A group of students at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), China’s top art school, are calling on school authorities to fire a professor who has been disciplined for sexual misconduct but has retained his teaching position.

The demand first made headlines on January 10, when one alleged victim posted an audio recording (in Chinese) to social media. The clip features a conversation between her and a member of the school’s discipline committee in which she asks why classes taught by Yáo Shùnxī 姚舜熙, who was found violating policies against sexual misconduct, were on the course schedule again.

In June 2019, dozens of students filed a collective complaint against Yao, accusing him of multiple instances of sexual harassment, selling students’ artworks without their permission, taking bribes, and fabricating allegations against other instructors at the school. Continue reading

How gay art survives in Beijing

Source: NYT (1/17/20)
How Gay Art Survives in Beijing, as Censors Tighten Grip
An art gallery in China’s capital provides a lens into the city’s quietly present gay community.
By Marjorie Perry

The artist Gao Jianxiang at his Beijing studio, foreground, with his gallerist, Pierre Alivon, whose gallery ART.Des in the Chinese capital shows gay-themed work.

The artist Gao Jianxiang at his Beijing studio, foreground, with his gallerist, Pierre Alivon, whose gallery ART.Des in the Chinese capital shows gay-themed work. Credit…Pierre Alivon

From the outside, the facade of Destination (a prominent Beijing venue that expressly welcomes gay people) is downright drab. But inside this four-story cultural center on the east side of the city, the works in the nonprofit art gallery can push boundaries.

This is no easy feat as censorship restrictions have been tightening in China under President Xi Jinping. And, although same-sex relations were decriminalized in 1997, gay Beijingers say they continue to face discrimination.

They look longingly to Taiwan, where a recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage on the self-ruled island of 24 million is being celebrated throughout the world. Taiwan has long been the heart of gay Asia.

In mainland China, acceptance of same-sex couples has progressed at a glacial rate. Many gay Chinese will never come out to their family, and there are still gay conversion centers around the country.

However, there is a quietly present gay community in Beijing. Destination, which opened 15 years ago as a nightclub and has since expanded to become a cultural center, is one of the few places where gay men can be open about their sexual orientation, according to observers. Continue reading

Gao Chengxian’s Reminiscence of the Manchukuo Arts Exhibitions

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “Negotiating Colonial Visuality: Gao Chengxian’s Reminiscence of the Manchukuo Arts Exhibitions,” introduced and translated by Yanlong Guo, in our online series. The full essay/translation can be read at the follwing url: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/yanlong-guo/. Find the opening paragraph below.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Figure 1. “Portrait of Gao Chengxian,” photograph, photographer and date unknown. Source: Gao Chengxian shuhua ji, n.p.

Commemorating the Manchukuo[1] Emperor Puyi’s 溥儀 (r. 1932-1945) Admonitory Rescript to the People on the Occasion of the Emperor’s Return (回鑾訓民詔書), issued in 1935, the newly established State of Manchuria under Japanese colonial rule launched the First Art Exhibition in Commemoration of [Emperor Kangde’s] Visit to Japan and Announcement of the Rescript (第一回訪日宣詔記念美術展覧会) on May 2, 1937 in its New Capital (新京; current day Changchun).[2] The Manchukuo government organized eight such annual “national exhibitions” (國展) until 1945, when the Japan imperial army was defeated.[3] Each year, a review committee was appointed by a responsible institute to select artworks for the exhibition.[4] Accolades and cash stipends were bestowed on artists whose works were deemed the most excellent. The participating artists consisted of Japanese expatriate artists, such as Shouhou Kusakari 首藤春草 (1907-1994) and Yokoyama Shigeyuki 横山繁行 (1894-1946); prominent Chinese artists, such as Yu Lianke 于蓮客 (1899-1980), Wang Guanglie 王光烈 (1880-1953), and Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉 (1866-1940); and underrecognized Manchuria-born Chinese artists. One of the local and emerging artists was Gao Chengxian 高澄鮮 (1913-1990) (fig. 1), whose art activities during the Manchukuo period are known to us thanks to two interviews of him by Lu Ye 盧燁.[5] One of the interviews, published in 1990 and entitled “My Recollections of Participating in the Illegitimate Manchukuo Exhibitions of Calligraphy and Painting” (我參加偽滿書畫展的回憶), is translated below. [READ MORE]

TAP Fall 2019

The fall 2019 issue of the Trans Asia Photography Review is now available online at tapreview.org. (You may need to refresh your browser to view the new contents.) This issue, titled “Writing Photo Histories,” features the following articles and book reviews:

Writing Photo Histories

Picturing Meishu: Photomechanical Reproductions of Works of Art in Chinese Periodicals before WWII
Yanfei Zhu

Article

The Shanghai Amateur Photographic Society: An Early Photographic Organization Established by Westerners in China
Che Liang Continue reading

Art in Smog

Source: China Channel, LARB (11/18/19)
Four Young Chinese Artists, 25 Years On
By Richard Kraus

Richard Kraus looks at two documentaries on Chinese art by Lydia Chen

Xia Xiaowan, The Wanderer (1997, cropped detail).

In her spellbinding 1993 documentary Inner Visions, Lydia Chen interviewed three struggling, idealistic young Chinese artists. Twenty-five years later, the same profilees are back in Chen’s latest film, Art in Smog, to discuss their careers again – this time as mature artists who worked hard to find their places in China’s now prosperous arts scene. Chen’s long-term relationship with them is unique, and makes for two very special documentaries which anyone who cares about the evolution of Chinese art over the past quarter century should watch. Continue reading

Huang Yong Ping dead at 65

Source: Art News (10/20/19)
Huang Yong Ping, Provocateur Artist Who Pushed Chinese Art in New Directions, Has Died at 65
BY Alex Greenberger

Huang Yong Ping.

Huang Yong Ping. BRUNO BEBERT/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Huang Yong Ping, the Chinese artist whose propensity for provocation allowed him to address taboo subjects in China and beyond with audacity and wit, has died at 65. His death on Saturday was confirmed by Gladstone Gallery, which represented him in New York and Brussels. A representative for the gallery did not immediately state a cause of death.

In his sly installations and sculptural work, Huang often melded techniques derived from the history of Chinese art and international avant-garde movements alike. His ability to deftly combine seemingly opposed methods of art-making made him one of the foremost artists in an emergent group of Chinese artists during the late 1980s. Continue reading

HK protest artist Boms

Source: SCMP (9/10/19)
Hong Kong protest art headed for the streets of London and Amsterdam
Work by Hong Kong street artist Boms can be seen all across the city, but his protest posters are now headed for Europe. The Young Blood Initiative will be handing out copies of his work to the public in London and Amsterdam
By Snow Xia

Graffiti artist Boms with his protest poster in a street in Mong Kok. Photo: Snow Xia

Graffiti artist Boms with his protest poster in a street in Mong Kok. Photo: Snow Xia

Boms has been run off his feet lately.

The Hong Kong street artist and dancer – who doesn’t want to be identified – has been plastering walls across the city with his protest posters, voicing his support for the large-scale anti-government movement over the past three months.

Unlike most of the protest art produced locally during this period, his drawings will also be headed for London and Amsterdam, where copies will be distributed to the public and be posted around the streets, over the next two months. Continue reading

Artists reflect on what has gone in HK

Source: SCMP (9/5/19)
Out of time: artists return to darkroom, make coin collages to remind Hong Kong of what has gone
Anita Mui, Queen’s Pier, and former Legco building among icons of Hong Kong artist Giraffe Leung depicts using specially treated 20-cent coins. Multiple exposures of city streets in China, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, printed in a darkroom without digital manipulation, make up Simon Wan’s show
By Snow Xia

Giraffe Leung rubs a panel made of 20-cent coins with chemical solutions to create an image of Hong Kong at La Galerie Paris 1839 in Central. Photo: Snow Xia

Giraffe Leung rubs a panel made of 20-cent coins with chemical solutions to create an image of Hong Kong at La Galerie Paris 1839 in Central. Photo: Snow Xia

Coins and darkroom photography may be falling out of use, but they have been given new life in an exhibition that explores and evokes Hongkongers’ collective memory.

Showing at La Galerie Paris 1839, Hollywood Road, Central, “Coins – Memories of Hong Kong” by Giraffe Leung Lok-hei and “City Glow” by Simon Wan Chi-chung look at how rapid urbanisation has changed the city.

“As e-payments and virtual money have replaced traditional money globally, I want to use money to remind us of the role … people and things play in our lives [and their value],” explains Leung, whose show re-examines unremarkable objects that became or are becoming obsolete. Continue reading

Protest posters from HK

Readers might be interested in this collection of very stylish protest posters from HK–Richard Kraus <rkrausa@comcast.net>

Source: Archive.org
Collection of posters from Hong Kong protests 2019 – 1/3

Publication date: 2019
Topics: Hong Kong, , Posters

more posters at:

https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_posters_02
https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_posters_03

galleries:

https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_gallery_001
https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_gallery_002
https://archive.org/details/HongKongProtests2019_gallery_003

Identifier: HongKongProtests2019_posters_01
Scanner: Internet Archive Python library 1.8.4
Year: 2019

Liu Wei Invisible Cities exhibition

Liu Wei: Invisible Cities
Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland
Mueller Family Gallery, Cohen Family Gallery, and Cahoon Lounge
September 13, 2019-January 5, 2020

Liu Wei’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Invisible Cities, takes its title from Italian writer Italo Calvino’s novella of the same name. Presented across two institutions (moCa and the Cleveland Museum of Art) and developed in direct response to both spaces’ architecture, Invisible Cities presents a constellation of works that employs abstraction and fragmentation to create new narratives. Like Calvino’s book—an imagined set of conversations between traveler Marco Polo and the emperor of the thirteenth-century Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan—Liu’s work examines how objects can function as physical traces and intangible links between the visible and invisible. From sculptures carved out of books, a series of cut-up and repurposed household appliances (a refrigerator, a washing machine, and a waffle maker), to architectural monuments made from rawhide dog chews, Liu asks us to examine the relationship between material and power. The installation of works in Invisible Cities echoes the cities Polo describes—fantastical, beguiling places where things are never as they seem—and emphasizes that the world we live in is infinitely larger than what we can see. Liu’s work is an evocative reminder that how we perceive and negotiate our relationship to place allows us to see the conditions of its very construction. Continue reading

Radical realist view of Tibetan Buddhism

Source: NY Review of Books (7/13/19)
A Radical Realist View of Tibetan Buddhism at the Rubin
By Ian Johnson

Photo by Thierry Ollivier/RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. Kingdom of Shambhala and the Final Battle, Mongolia, nineteenth century

One of the hallmarks of the past few decades has been the rise of religious-based nationalism in, for example, India, the United States, and the Middle East. And it has become routine in discussing these areas to make a link between politics and religion—be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam.

Buddhism, though, continues to flummox us. People are often shocked that it could be central to the violence of Sri Lanka or Myanmar, or the more than a hundred self-immolations that took place in Tibet in the early 2010s—self-inflicted acts of political violence that confounded both the Chinese government and many onlookers in the West. For many, Buddhism is “a religion of peace” and its adaptation for political purposes, even to inspire violence, feels flat-out wrong. Continue reading

Tang Xiaoming exhibit

Source: China Daily (6/13/19)
Exhibition sheds light on painter of Lu Xun portrait
By LIN QI | China Daily

Never to Cease Fighting, a portrait of Lu Xun by painter Tang Xiaoming, is on display at the National Art Museum of China. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Never to Cease Fighting [永不休战], a portrait of Lu Xun, a leading figure of 20th-century Chinese literature, is familiar to many Chinese people because the painting of him produced in 1971 has frequently been published in school textbooks over the years. But few people know much about its painter Tang Xiaoming [汤小铭], a devoted educator who has long been based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

With a career spanning six decades, Tang, 80, is honorary chairman of the Guangdong Artists Association and has created dozens of portraits both of luminaries like Lu Xun and ordinary people from different walks of life. He exemplifies a realistic approach to painting that used to dominate the Chinese art scene for decades, and the figures he has depicted show the archetypal faces of a country in the throes of progress. Continue reading

A Dark Blue exhibit

Source: New Haven Independent (6/7/19)
Art Of Darkness
By BRIAN SLATTERY

Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Fritz Horstman

Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Fritz Horstman

The words are surrounded by billows of shade that could be smoke, or clouds, or particles moving through water. The color seems both kinetic and serene at the same time, capturing light and shadow. The words are written by hand: “Scooping up handfuls of fresh / silence from a mirror of oblivion, / I gather from the well / that night disguises his guests. / It pleases him that wind / must wait. Even rain. Misled / the tempered dark takes a false / step. So many shadows. / So few ghosts — I was lonely / but curious / in this imperfect end.”The above poem-painting is one of several pieces in “A Blue Dark,” a collaboration between Paris-based poet, translator, and Zheng harpist Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Connecticut-based artist Fritz Horstman running now at the Institute Library on Chapel Street through Sept. 7, with a guided walk-through by Horstman on June 9. Continue reading