Course Code


Course Name

Chinese Art in the World after 1900: Aesthetics and History


Mondays 13:30-16:15


WMY 506


Dr. Elaine Kwok, Yin Ning

Teaching Assistant

Mavis Siu

Course Description

This course looks at the history and aesthetics of various arts in China (painting, calligraphy,
photography, sculpture, architecture, installation, performance art, video or digital art, etc.), their
role in Chinese culture, and in shaping the characteristics of Chinese art in the global context.
The following themes will be dealt with: the aesthetic evaluation of these arts and their unique
artistic features; the roles of the artist and the spectator in the context of globalization; the
transformation of Chinese art from a perspective of cross-cultural exchange; the influence of
Chinese art on the West; the aesthetic valuation of expressiveness and descriptiveness in art;
and the cultural correlation between art and society. Historically, the course will cover the following
areas: the artistic importance of the Lingnan School paintings in the late Qing dynasty (c.1850-
1911), the evolution of Western and traditional painting in China (1911-1949), the art development
during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the cross-cultural exchange between Chinese art and
Western art (1976-1989), and the question of “Chineseness” under the conditions of globalization
and digitization (1989-now). We will deal with these topics by examining major works of art and
by analyzing primary texts as well as contemporary scholarly writings.

Course Outline

Unit 1 – The Global Context for Chinese Art: 20th-Century Western Art

Unit 2 – (before 1900) Summary of Chinese Art History

Unit 3 – (1900-1966) The New & the Old: Traditional & Foreign Influences

Unit 4 – (1966-1989) The Modern and the Post-Modern

Unit 5 – (1989-now) Chinese Art and the Individual

Unit 6 – (1989-now) Chinese Art and the Global Cities

Unit 7 – (after 1900) Chinese Art in the World

Unit 8 – (after 1900) Hong Kong Art: The Colonial and the Post-Colonial

Unit 9 – Field Trip: Art & Cultural Places (TBC)

Unit 10 – Exhibition Curatorial Writing

Unit 11 – Seminar Topic 1: Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Global Context

Unit 12 – Seminar Topic 2: Orientalism and Exoticism

Unit 13 – Seminar Topic 3: Post-Modernism and Globalism

Unit 14 – Seminar Topic 4: The City and the Body in Art

Assessment & Assignments

(30%) In-class seminar presentation on one seminar topic (the seminar topics are
scheduled and listed below)
– (20%) Exhibition curatorial leaflet (submit the hardcopy or PDF file of your Exhibition
Curatorial Leaflet one day after your Seminar Topic presentation)
– (50%) Final paper (the due date for final paper is 1 week after the course ends as stated

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the
disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations.
Details may be found at each
assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the
policies, regulations and procedures.