China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

72 - Material Matters: (Re)envisioning “China” with the Practice of Art and Architecture

7/6/2018
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Kadamba, Lower Ground Floor

Acknowledging that the idea of history and geography is fluid and adaptive, this panel examines the operative apparatuses in people’s conception of the spaces and structures that they inhabit. This panel brings together four scholars with different methodological and theoretical approaches to Chinese architecture and built space, demonstrating how a materialist framework can help scholars access China’s historical cultural and political spheres.


Wen Jing resurrects the lost voices of the designers of the ancient timber Yingxian Pagoda demonstrating how spatial creation and cultural meaning intersected in Liao Dynasty construction methods. Through an interrogation of the ways that Shanghai’s urban transformation was recorded by Qing and Republican cartographers, Zhang Xi demonstrates how the map itself became a central stage where different political and cultural visions of Shanghai were contested. Kelly Ritter investigates how social and cultural debates pictured in a pictorial magazine Modern Sketch changed the meaning of buildings, landscapes, and neighborhoods in 1930s Shanghai. Dong Zhe studies how people in different periods and contexts of the (post)socialist China have used Mao-themed art and architecture as medium to reimagine a local, personal idea of history.


With diverse approaches to the production of space and related social, political, and aesthetic practices, this panel interrogates the material mechanisms through which people grappled with the idea of “China” during four historical moments. Tracing the myriad ways historical actors map, create, and reproduce “Chinese” space, we demonstrate how and under what conditions are cultural, aesthetic, and political identities formed in relation to art and architecture.

Presentations:

Send Email for Dong Zhe

Kelly W.S. Ritter

University of Virginia, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Kelly Ritter

Send Email for Dong Zhe

Kelly W.S. Ritter

University of Virginia, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Kelly Ritter

Jing Wen

Tongji University Department of Architecture, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Jing Wen

Xi Zhang

University of Chicago, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Xi Zhang


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