nl en

Visual Arts in the People's Republic of China, 1949-2010: Sources and Documents


N.B. 31 AUGUSTUS 2010: ALS GEVOLG VAN ZIEKTE VAN DR MOORE WORDT DIT COLLEGE (titel voorheen: Art, Modernity and China) GEGEVEN DOOR Francesca Dal Lago.


Students will be expected to exert critical thinking. Comparison with and incorporation of areas of specific interest to the student’s curriculum are encouraged. Evaluation will be based on class discussion, familiarity with the material and the elaboration of an individual approach in the assessment of artists, trends and specific issues as elements of a larger socio-political context though the writing of the final paper.

Slide tests held in class will be based on the identification of the works and main themes presented.


Chinese contemporary art has enjoyed major global attention in the last decade. Artists from China have become a regular feature at exhibitions and cultural events around the world and their works have reached record prices at international auctions. But the origins and historical development of this vast success remain largely obscure due to the widespread ignorance found in most media presentation. When discussed as separate from the social, political and historical context that has shaped culture since the Communist raise to power in 1949, visual art in the People’s Republic of China may appear as a variant of a standardized Euro-American template.

This course will provide an historical and cultural framework to allow the reading and de-codification of such artistic production. It will present the main works, figures, cultural policies and institutions against the background of the political and social changes experienced by the P.R.C. since its founding, exploring the complex connections existing between art and society which define the unique character and meaning of this art

Study aims

The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the main cultural issues emerged in the development of the visual and artistic production of the People’s Republic of China in the last 60 years. Students will gain critical tools to interpret recent artistic trends and figures. This is a third year course, so students are expected to possess a basic understanding of historical or cultural conditions in 20th century China. Art history students should be acquainted with 20th century Western art trends.


Classes will introduce works and styles with the aid of slides/Blackboard. Students are expected to play an active role in presenting their views and to engage in the critical discussion of this artistic production. Readings will be set for preparation between classes. Students are expected to read these set texts in out-of-class hours and to discuss what they have read when the class assembles. Each week’s assignment will demand a minimum input of three to four hours, including preparatory reading and familiarization with visual material.


See Timetable TCC

Teaching method



  • Classwork (discussion and 2 slide tests): 40%

  • Short Essay (Article Review/Essay proposal), deadline early November: 20%

  • Final Essay (deadline mid-December) 40%



Reading materials

  • A reader is in the process of being prepared and will be soon available at the Studiepunt Additional readings will be available on a reserve shelf in the Sinological Library


Meld je voor dit college op tijd aan via uSis. Niet ingeschreven, betekent geen toestemming tot het volgen van dit college. Zie ook ‘Aanmeldprocedures voor colleges en tentamens’ voor inschrijvingsdeadlines en meer informatie over in- en uitschrijven voor colleges.


F. Dal Lago