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Image As An Interaction With The Past

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Chapter Summary

Several conceptions that touch upon the drama culture of the Wanli period have been presented: first, drama as history; second, performance as the repetition of history; third, the conflation of past and present through performance. The ‘blurring of boundaries’ between the real and unreal was a pronounced tendency in the traditional discourse of art, as the Song scholar Hong Mai (1123–1202) notes in his miscellany Rongzhai suibi. In the three examples of Hong Mai, Lang Ying and Yang Shen, the issue of ‘blurred boundaries’ is expressed in very similar terms. The genre of double-screen painting, invented by Zhou Wenju, active during the Southern Tang Dynasty, consists of a painting of at least two separate screens mounted one in front of the other or placed next to each other. The screen in the illustration of the 1640 edition of Xixiang ji has functions analogous to the screen in performance illustration.

Keywords: Hong Mai; Lang Ying; performance illustration; Tang Dynasty; Wanli period; Xixiang ji; Yang Shen; Zhou Wenju



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