China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: Recent developments in art historical scholarship have addressed the interplay between concepts of modernity, ethnicity, and nationality in the process of early-twentieth-century state-building and political organization. While much of this discourse centers on binary models of primitive/modern, East/West, center/periphery, this panel complicates these issues from interdisciplinary, transmedial and transnational angles. In tracing domestic and international publications as vehicles of cultural exchange in the process of nation-building, our research introduces critical perspectives on primitivism and folk aesthetics, the effect of wartime migration on artistic practice, and the intersection of transmedial leftist imagery with global modernism. To situate these themes in specific historical context, Elizabeth Emrich-Rougé’s project examines the understudied connections between modern woodblock printmaking and the transnational print media that surrounded them during the 1930s. Amanda Wangwright addresses the art activism of early wartime China, analyzing examples of transmedial experimentation and exchange in the service of national salvation. Asia Adomanis’ research proposes that Liang Baibo and Ye Qianyu’s encounters with Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias’ primitivist illustrations in the 1930s contributed to the stylistic transformations definitive of their work. Finally, Xiaojian Yin explores the interwoven relationship between decorative arts and the formation of ethnocultural identities in Socialist China through Zhang Guangyu’s Covarrubias-inspired representations of ethnic minorities. By examining the intersection between China’s international encounters and negotiation of local conventions, this panel aims to stimulate further discussion of how China’s modern visual culture became simultaneously representative of the nation and of China’s participation in a global dialogue on modernism.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Elizabeth Emrich-Rouge
Virtual Paper Presenter: Amanda Wangwright – University of South Carolina
Virtual Paper Presenter: Asia Adomanis – The Ohio State University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Xiaojian Yin – University of California, San Diego