Appropriating Antiquity for Modern Chinese Painting (by Chia-Ling Yang)

Title: Appropriating Antiquity for Modern Chinese Painting
Author: Chia-Ling Yang
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023

The pursuit of antiquity was important for scholarly artists in constructing their knowledge of history and cultural identity in late imperial China. By examining versatile trends within paintings in modern China, this book questions the extent to which historical relics have been used to represent the ethnic identity of modern Chinese art. In doing so, this book asks: did the antiquarian movements ultimately serve as a deliberate tool for re-writing Chinese art history in modern China?

In searching for the public meaning of inventive private collecting activity, Appropriating Antiquity in Modern Chinese Painting draws on various modes of artistic creation to address how the use of antiquities in early 20th-century Chinese art both produced and reinforced the imaginative links between ancient civilization and modern lives in the late Qing dynasty. Further exploring how these social and cultural transformations were related to the artistic exchanges happening at the time between China, Japan and the West, the book successfully analyses how modernity was translated and appropriated at the turn of the 20th century, throughout Asia and further afield.

About the Author
Chia-Ling Yang is Professor of History of Art and Personal Chair of Chinese Art at The University of Edinburgh, UK. She received her PhD in Chinese Art from SOAS, University of London, UK. She has worked with the V&A and the British Museum on a range of exhibition projects.