Peggy WangFeb 14, 2022
The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art
University of Minnesota Press 2021
In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking to Peggy Wang about her new book, The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art (Minnesota University Press, 2021). In the book, Wang asks readers to reconsider the term “global” and “world” in relation to the (often simplistically interpreted) artistic projects of some of the most famous Chinese artists of the postsocialist period. A meticulously researched chapter is devoted to: Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Sui Jianguo, Zhang Peili, and Lin Tianmiao. In each case, Wang argues that their oeuvres are critical projects that are shaped by and comment upon artists’ and art critics’ self-understanding as Chinese actors in ambivalent relation to the newly accessible “Western art world.” The book’s theoretical claims will of course speak to scholars of art history as well as Chinese literature and culture. I would be remiss not to mention, however, how excited I am by the teaching potential of this text, both as a foundation from which to understand the complexity of contemporary Chinese art and a wonderful model for students just learning research methodologies.
Julia Keblinska is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms.