Juliane NothSep 30, 2022
Transmedial Landscapes and Modern Chinese Painting
Harvard University Press 2022
Juliane Noth’s Transmedial Landscapes and Modern Chinese Paintings, coming very soon from the Harvard University Asia Center (2022), tracks a relatively short but transformative period in ink painting that coincides with the Nanjing Decade, 1927-1937. In the book, Noth considers how artists negotiated the continuing relevance and development of a form that came to be defined as guohua, or “national painting,” vis a vis the introduction of photography and new (print) technologies. She argues that their theoretical writings and painting practice, far from statically embracing “tradition,” brimmed with the tension between cosmopolitanism and cultural defense. The artists considered in the book reinterpreted Chinese art history in relation to Western developmental models and technologies while maintaining an active formal conversation with literati painting traditions. The emergence of what Noth theorizes as “transmedial” landscapes was also strongly intertwined with state rail and road infrastructure projects and the development of a modern travel industry. Join us in our discussion to hear more of the nuance and complexity with which Prof. Noth analyzes this transformative period in Chinese visual culture.
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.