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Expanding Chinese Ink Painting in the 2014 Exhibition - Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art

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Expanding Chinese Ink Painting in the 2014 Exhibition - Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art

Zhang, Tianmo (2018) Expanding Chinese Ink Painting in the 2014 Exhibition - Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines installation works by three Chinese artists included in the group exhibition Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, November 15, 2014 to April 6, 2015: Xu Bing’s Background Story (2014), Jennifer Wen Ma’s Black Beauty: A Living Totem (2014), and Sun Xun’s Shan Shui – Cosmos (2014). These works reconfigured the traditions and conventions of Chinese landscape ink painting using new media and techniques such as video, animation, and installation, and in so doing, defied stereotypical interpretations of Chinese art. This was achieved through three main artistic strategies: imitation, materiality, and the juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary art media. The first strategy, as seen in Xu’s work, demonstrates the unconventional use of materials to simulate the appearance of a traditional Chinese landscape painting, thereby leading viewers to misrecognize the installation as an ink painting. The second strategy, as adopted by Ma, involves a display of materiality and physicality through exploration of ink aesthetics. Finally, Sun’s installation environment combines traditional ink painting with new media to reimagine new possibilities for the Chinese landscape genre. By focusing on these artists and discussing their practices in relation to the rest of the exhibition, this thesis concludes that the works subvert essentialist views of Chineseness and challenge cultural assumptions of the viewer in order to reflect on contemporary social and urban realities in modern-day China.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zhang, Tianmo
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:1 April 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jim, Alice Ming Wai
ID Code:983667
Deposited By: TIANMO ZHANG
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 01:09
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 01:09
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