ART H 212
Surveys the highlights of Chinese visual arts from the Neolithic to the present. Studies jade, bronze, lacquer, silk, Buddhist sculpture, ceramics, calligraphy, painting, architecture, film, and installation art forms at a moment in Chinese history when work in those media was especially innovative and important.
This course is a survey of the highlights of Chinese visual arts from the Neolithic to the present. We will study ten art forms: jade, ceramics, bronze, Buddhist sculpture, calligraphy, printing, painting, garden, furniture, and film. Each will be examined at a moment in its history when it was especially innovative and important. Together the topics will cover the whole of Chinese history in roughly chronological order. The focus on materials will alert us to the interplay between visual design and technique of execution. A concentration on the visual thinking of artists will be supplemented by readings on the social functions of art. Many of China’s luxury materials had an impact on the world beyond China’s borders; one or two, notably ceramics, even stimulated the development of certain branches of modern Western science. Throughout the course, we will use comparative materials from other artistic traditions to see what is distinctive about Chinese art.
Student learning goals
Understanding artist's visual thinking
Get used to comparative study.
General method of instruction
Lectures and field visit to the Seattle Asian Art Museum; screening of three movies.
No background in art history or Chinese history is assumed.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly readings assembled from various sources, about 40 pages per week (all on Catalyst).
Three in-class exams (30% each), and a three-page analytical paper about one of the three movies (10%).