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How To Misunderstand Chinese Art: Seven Examples

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Chapter Summary

There is a large literature in English devoted to modernist and contemporary Chinese art. Artforum publishes on line in Chinese and English, though it has relatively few reviews from China. Like many Chinese artists, Wang recycled earlier forms of painting, while Poussin, in the manner of all European old masters, created a highly original personal style. But now many Chinese artists show and work in the West, and a great deal of Chinese art is shown. And so it is expected that these traditions are close enough to be mutually accessible. It is easy to misunderstand a distant culture. Chang Da-Chien bridges the gap between China and the West. The Gao brothers do political paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Ji Dachun paints animals, objects, and people typically isolated on a white background field. Alfreda Murck describes the preference for indirection as a way to preserve face and avoid giving offense.

Keywords: Alfreda Murck; Chang Da-Chien; Chinese art; Chinese artists; Gao brothers; Ji Dachun; Wang Guangle

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