The Power Institute Foundation for Art and Visual Culture

Floating Time: Chinese Prints, 1954–2002


by Stephen H. Whiteman, Minerva Inwald, Bingqing Wei, with John Clark

Floating Time: Chinese Prints 1954–2002 brings together, for the first time, the University of Sydney Art Collection’s 93 modern and contemporary Chinese prints. One of only three major collections of twentieth-century Chinese prints in Australia, this substantial collection includes national-prize winning prints and works by internationally acclaimed artists, including Zhao Zongzao and Su Xinping. The half-century represented here reveals not only the development of the powerful woodcut tradition under Mao, but also the rapid expansion of printmaking as artists embraced a broader set of themes and more experimental techniques. Such developments reflect the tumultuous periods in which these works were produced and offer a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of these fifty artists – a vastly different perspective from the familiar forms of contemporary Chinese art seen in better known international art circuits.

About the contributors

Stephen H. Whiteman is Lecturer in Asian Art in the Department of Art History and Associate Curator for China Projects for the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney. A specialist in early modern painting and print culture and the history of gardens in China, he received his doctorate from Stanford University in 2011. He has been the recipient of research fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and is most recently the co-author of Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints (Harvard, 2016). Current projects include a monograph on landscape in the Qing court, Constructing Kangxi: Landscape, Image, and Ideology in Early Qing China, and an edited volume, Rhetorics of Landscape: Articulating Authority across the Early Modern World, which explores early modern landscapes from a global, connected perspective.

Minerva Inwald is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. Her current research focuses on the National Art Museum of China in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, examining how exhibitions at this prestigious space were used to communicate ideas about the role of art in the People’s Republic of China. In 2015, she completed a postgraduate exchange semester at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

Bingqing Wei is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History, at the University of Sydney. Her research investigates the artistic and socio-political significance of the depiction of optical devices in Chinese visual culture from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. She holds a Master of Arts awarded by the University of Alberta (Canada, 2012) and a Master of Museum Studies bestowed by the University of Toronto (Canada, 2007). She has held positions as research assistant at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and The University of Alberta Museums in Edmonton. Her research has contributed to several major exhibitions, including China’s Imperial Modern: Painter’s Craft (University of Alberta Museums, 2012).

John Clark is Professor Emeritus in Art History at the University of Sydney, the author of five books and editor or co-editor of another five. His Asian Modernities: Chinese and Thai art of the 1980s and 1990s (Power Publications, 2010), won the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand ’s Best Art Book prize in 2011. He is currently working on a two-volume study, The Asian Modern, 1850s–1990s, which includes detailed comparative studies of five generations of modern Asian artists between the 1850s and 1990s. His Contemporary Asian Art at Biennials will be published by National University of Singapore Press in mid- 2017. He co-curated Modern Boy, Modern Girl: Modernity in Japanese Art, 1910–1935 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1998, and in 2014 co-curated an exhibition of the work of Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook in Sydney and Canberra.

Paperback, 100 colour images, 168pp

Floating Time: Chinese Prints, 1954–2002 is published by Power Publications, in association with University Art Gallery, The University of Sydney.

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