Art & Architecture

A Story of Ruins: Presence and Absence in Chinese Art and Visual Culture

Hardcover

Price:
$72.50 / £60.00
ISBN:
Published:
07/22/2012
Copyright:
2012
Pages:
296
Size:
7.5 x 10 in.
Illus:
250 color illus.
Buy This

This richly illustrated book examines the changing significance of ruins as vehicles for cultural memory in Chinese art and visual culture from ancient times to the present. Leading scholar of Chinese art Wu Hung shows how the story of ruins in China is different from but connected to “ruin culture” in the West. He investigates indigenous Chinese concepts of ruins and their visual manifestations, as well as the complex historical interactions between China and the West since the eighteenth century.

Analyzing a broad variety of traditional and contemporary visual materials, including painting, architecture, photography, prints, and cinema, Wu also embraces a wide variety of subjects — from indigenous methods of recording damage and decay in ancient China, to realistic images of architectural ruins in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the strong interest in urban ruins in contemporary China, as shown in the many artworks that depict demolished houses and decaying industrial sites. The result is an original interpretation of the development of Chinese art, as well as a unique contribution to global art history.