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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Haicheng Wang
ART H 212
Seattle Campus

Chinese Art and Visual Culture

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.

Class description

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.

Recommended preparation

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%).

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Haicheng Wang
Date: 02/19/2014