Online Lecture

Fracture and Root-seeking: From Nationalisation of Oil Painting to Lyrical Abstraction

Date:  19 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Date: Friday, 19 May 2023

Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (HKT)

Mode of delivery: Online via Zoom, registration required

Language: Putonghua



With the end of the Cultural Revolution, the lifting of martial law in Taiwan in 1987 and the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, there was a significant readjustment of ‘sinicization (zhongguohua)’ across the Taiwan Strait and in Hong Kong. The abstract art movement in Taiwan and Hong Kong originated from the practise of Western modernism. By the 1960s, it had evolved to incorporate Eastern and Western elements in a trajectory known as dongxi heyi—a fusion of East and West. Mainland Chinese artists who endured the Cultural Revolution, such as Wu Guanzhong, initially adhered to the concept of ‘nationalisation of oil painting (youhua minzuhua)’. However, since the 1980s, artists have increasingly turned inward in pursuit of a ‘lyrical tradition (shuqing chuantong)’, creating new expressions for abstract art and contributing to the dynamic discourse surrounding Chinese oil paintings. This study posits that abstract art has introduced innovative models for artistic experimentation within specific socio-political contexts. Artists aim to surpass and transcend pre-existing boundaries and realities, maximise artistic freedom and search for individual and cultural identity amidst the chaos.



Chia-Ling YANG
Professor and Personal Chair, Chinese Art | Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh


Chia-Ling YANG received her first degree from Chinese Literature at the National Taiwan University, a MA from Art History at the University of Warwick and her PhD at the University of London (SOAS) in Art and Archaeology. She was a visiting scholar at the Academia Sinica and the University of Heidelberg, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to research and teach in Art History at the University of Chicago. Yang was Lecturer in Chinese Art at the University of Sussex and University of London (SOAS) before taking up the post in Edinburgh. She also lectures at the V&A and the British Museum on Chinese Painting.



Florian KNOTHE
Director | University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong



Shuo HUA
Assistant Curator | University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong


All are welcome | Please click here to register.

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