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1st Group Research and Mentoring in Beijing

August 9th-17th, 2014
Central Academy of Fine Arts, Chaoyang District, Huajiadi South Rd. No. 8
Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing), Institute for East Asian Art History (Heidelberg), Sichuan University Arts College (Chengdu)
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The organizers of “The Ethnographic Eye – Art during the Sino-Japanese War” welcome the project’s participants to our first group research and mentoring session in Beijing (August 9th During the event, which is organized by the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing), the Institute of East Asian Art History (Heidelberg University), and Sichuan University Arts College (Chengdu), students and faculty will explore core collections rich in Sino-Japanese period objects, archival material, and visit important historical landmarks situated throughout Beijing.

The city is ideal for building the starting point for this first group meeting, because of its richness in a broad range of materials directly related to wartime period cultural production: Core collections of paintings, prints, art journals, archaeological drawings and research documents dating to the 1930s and 1940s are scattered in museums and libraries across the city. Immediately after the war, Beijing and in particular the National Beiping Art College – predecessor to the Central Academy of Fine Arts – became a new home to numerous artists, who had shaped cultural debates throughout the wartime period such as Wu Zuoren, Xu Beihong, Dong Xiwen, Sun Zongwei, among others.

Based at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the meeting focuses on two main objectives. First, to give young Chinese scholars the opportunity to study wartime period artworks first-hand and to introduce them to new approaches in object-based research. A second theme is a consideration of the representation of the 1930s and 1940s in present-day China. The Second Sino-Japanese War has become important in mass media and in the public sphere. Participants will trace current concepts of displaying wartime cultural life. Exhibitions that deal with the art of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as collecting strategies by museums will be considered.

The main components of the group meeting include collection and exhibition visits, guest lectures, and sessions with relatives of important artists of the wartime period. Core destinations are the collections of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the National Art Museum of China, artworks dating to the century within the Palace Museum, and the collections of Beijing University, among others. In 20th addition, talks by distinguished guest lectures from the Palace Museum, Ohio State University, Beijing University, UC San Diego, the Beijing Fine Art Academy, Qinghua University, as well as the Central Academy of Fine Arts will complement collection visits. Representing diverse fields such as Buddhist Archaeology and Silk Road Studies, Museology, Chinese Modern Art Studies, and History, these talks will provide additional input for discussions and new perspectives for future research. An oral history segment, as well as an introduction to the Republican period materials section in the National Library and Central Academy of Fine Arts will help participants to open new paths for their studies. In addition, students will give short presentations on their individual research projects related to "The Ethnographic Eye" and discuss their plans for the upcoming project phase together with the project coordinators.

Upon completion of this first mentoring session in Beijing, we expect that the young Chinese scholars who participate in the project will have a greater awareness of the range of materials and approaches that can contribute to new directions in art historical research – experiences that we hope will nourish their individual research.

Connecting Art Histories Logo Support for the mentoring session is provided through a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative.

Last edited by: MO
Latest Revision: 2014-12-04
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