Online Lecture

Twentieth-Century Chinese Oil Paintings

Date:  28 Apr 2023 - 28 Apr 2023

Date: Friday, 28 April 2023

Time: 10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. (HKT)

Mode of delivery: Online via Zoom, registration required

Language: Putonghua (Session 1) and English (Session 2)


Session 1


With the Help of Rivers and Mountains: Reconstructing “Tianshan Mountains Imagery” in Situ Qiao’s Paintings from the Perspective of National Landscapes



Records concerning the Tianshan Mountains are often related to border guard fortresses, harsh environments and cruel wars in classical Chinese documents like the Book of Han. In ancient Chinese poetry, the Tianshan Mountains are depicted as a place of loneliness and desolation. However, from 1944–1945, Situ Qiao (1902–1958) visited Xinjiang to sketch and create art. His works, such as Grazing in the Tianshan Mountains and Sunset, depicted the mountain range differently, with a more positive view. By examining Si Tuqiao’s Tianshan-themed works, the speaker suggests that the natural beauty of the Tianshan Mountains assisted in constructing Jiangshan (江山) as a political map.



Chao PAN
PhD Candidate, Art history | Tsinghua University


Chao PAN received his BA in Fine Arts and MA in Art Theory from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, China. Chao’s research interests and publications centre around the art history of modern China.


Host & Discussant

Sarah NG
Curator | University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong


Session 2


Plastic Lessons: Xie Nanxing’s Post-Socialist Paintings



This study offers a reading of Xie Nanxing’s (b.1970) post-socialist paintings in relation to the central concept of zaoxing in twentieth century Chinese art education. As the primary mode of realist art training, zaoxing—comprising the characters for “making” [zao] and “form” [xing]refers to a complex practice of plasticity established through an equilibrium between the receiving and giving of form. The speaker traces the influence of zaoxing in the early works of Xie Nanxing both in relation to the concept’s formal and technical capacity in Chinese art education, and in terms of what plasticity offers to the configuring and de-figuring of individual subjectivity in post-socialist China.



Xiao Amanda JU
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and PhD Candidate | University of Rochester 


Xiao Amanda JU’s dissertation More Than Oneself: Realism, Subjectivity, and Gender in Contemporary Chinese Art studies the changing identities of realist art, specifically as it relates to post-Mao reformulations of gender ideology, individual subjectivity, and desire in China in the 1990s and early 2000s.



Evelyn KWOK
Research Assistant Professor, Associate Programme Director of B.A. (Hons) in Visual Arts | Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University



Sarah NG
Curator | University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong


Please click here to register.

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