Cinema and the Arts in China and Taiwan
In this double lecture session, Professor Grace Cheng (School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Professor Louis Lo (Department of English, National Taipei University of Technology) will discuss the construction of Chinese art history and image/media theory.
Grace Cheng: What is Chinese Art History? A Critical Summary of Discourse on Chinese Paintings The "Western" understanding of Chinese aesthetics has undergone drastic changes since the arrival of Chinese objects in Europe. Since the twentieth century, critics have been grappling with the somewhat enigmatic representations of nature, people and objects by the Chinese. In this seminar, I will present several significant discursive counterpoints in the area of Chinese art history, drawing from writer such as Wen Fong, James Elkins, Walter Benjamin and Hubert Damisch. Is it possible to write a Chinese art history? How does discourse interact with its objects? At what point do artistic objects reject discourse?
Louis Lo: Taiwanese Cinematic Images Taiwanese art-house cinema is marked by such minimalist cinematic devices as sustained stationary long-take, extensive use of long shot, and an insistence on in-situ lighting. These common features are instanced in Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day and Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Puppetmaster. Through a comparison of their films with South Korean director Hong Sang-soo and Jia Zhang-he, the representative director of the fifth generation Chinese director, this seminar discusses the extent to which these filmic poetics contribute to community-specific (Taiwanese, Asian, or Chinese) cinemas, and attempts to formulate an image theory about cinema in the post-media age.
Louis Lo is Associate Professor at the Department of English, National Taipei University of Technology. He obtained his PhD in Comparative Literature from The University of Hong Kong. His research interests include the history of ideas, the representation of cities in literature and films, and Asian cinema. He is the author of Male Jealousy: Literature and Film (Continuum, 2008), and co-author and photographer (with Jeremy Tambling) of Walking Macao, Reading the Baroque (Hong Kong University Press, 2009). His contributed chapters on literature and the city appear in Dickens and Italy: Little Dorrit and Pictures from Italy (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010), with black-and-white original photography, in Macau: Cultural Interaction and Literary Representation (Routledge, 2014), and Palgrave Handbook of Literature and the City (2017, forthcoming). He publishes journal articles in Textual Practice and Philosophy Study, and contributes critical book reviews in Modern Language Review. A collection of his London black-and-white photographs can also be found in Jeremy Tambling, Going Astray: Dickens and London (Longman, 2009). He is the director and screenplay writer of two shorts about the city, Taipei Astray (2014) and Two Women (2016).
Grace Cheng is a visiting lecturer at School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her Master of Philosophy thesis (Department of Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong) is on the paintings of the Le Nain brothers in seventeenth-century France. She received her BA in Fine Arts at HKU, MSc at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and BSc at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her most recent publication, “Henrietta Maria as a Mediatrix of French Court Culture: A Reconsideration of the Decorations in the Queen’s House” is collected in Perceiving Power in Early Modern Europe (Springer/Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Ms Cheng is the researcher and docent for the Botticelli Turin Venus Exhibition at the University of Hong Kong Museum of Arts, and co-curator of an exhibition about Klimt and Schiele organized by the Austrian Consulate and HKU. She was awarded The University of Hong Kong Museum Society Chinese Material Culture Prize. Her research interests include art and critical theory, Renaissance and Baroque art, and Song and Yuan art.
The lectures will be introduced by Eivind Røssaak, former Visiting Professor to the National Taipei University of Technology.