When Viewing Takes Time: Painting, Monument, and Memory in Cold War China and Taiwan

    Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic research


    How can painting evoke in the viewers certain notions of political or cultural past? Many studies have contributed to this question by analyzing how representations of a memorial or a ruin in a painting can function as, in Pierre Nora’s words, “sites of memory.” Seeking to complicate this interpretation, this paper examines a variety of Chinese landscape paintings produced after 1949, when the Chinese world was divided between the People’s Republic of China (PRC), established on the Chinese mainland, and the Republic of China (ROC), retreated to Taiwan.

    Specifically, I organize my analysis around two paintings: Qian Songyan’s Ode to Yan’an (1962, from China) and Lu Fo-ting’s A Portrait of 10,000 Li of the Great Wall (1962-63, from Taiwan). These two works take center stage in my research because they feature two different monuments that were appropriated by the two Chinese states as their own political emblems. By investigating the way in which these two works construct the viewers’ way of viewing the monuments portrayed, I argue that a prolonged temporal engagement used in both works critically allow the viewers to contemplate the links between the monuments and of relevant discourses and sentiments propagated by the PRC and the ROC. Ultimately, I investigate these two modes of viewing and remembering in the context of the Cold War. I argue that despite the apparent stylistic differences between the two paintings, the techniques they used to evoke memories were indeed two sides of the same coin within a cultural and political system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusNot published / presented only - 22 Feb 2020
    EventCollege Art Association 2020 108th Annual Conference: Panel Title: Locality and Memory in East Asian Art - Hilton Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Duration: 12 Feb 202015 Feb 2020


    ConferenceCollege Art Association 2020 108th Annual Conference
    Abbreviated titleCAA
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address


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