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Art History of Taiwan

 
Chapter 1
Introduction
Chapter 2
The Transition of the Concept of “Fine Arts”
       I. Development of the Term “Fine Arts” in the West
       II. The Term “Art” as used in China
       III. Transformation of the Term “Fine Arts” in East Asia
       IV. The Term “Fine Arts” as Formulated in Taiwan
Chapter 3
Prehistoric Art: Human’s Decoration
       I. Styles of Decorative Art
       II. Jue Earrings Excavated in Prehistoric Sites
       III. Antique Glass Beads
       IV. Tattoos
Chapter 4
Prehistoric Archeological and Primitive Art
       I. Wanshan Petroglyph
       II. Bronze Knife Hilt
       III. Wood Carving
       IV. Characteristics of Patterns in Prehistoric and Primitive Art
Chapter 5
Material Culture Surrounding Taiwan in 17thCentury
       I. Taiwan in Sea Maps
       II. Chinese Porcelain Excavated in Penghu Islands
       III. Sales and Orders of Chinese Trade Porcelain
       IV. Trade Porcelain Excavated in Taiwan
       V. By-Product: A Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa
Chapter 6
Between Images and Words: Genre Paintings of Taiwan’s Aboriginal Peoples in the 18th Century
       I. Relevant Studies
       II. Genre Paintings and Illustrations of Tributaries: Relationship between Genre Paintings and Story Paintings
       III. Different Modes of Expression in Various Editions
       IV. The Pedagogical Metaphors
Chapter 7
Joy of Painting and Calligraphy since Late Qing Dynasty
       I. From Transshipment Port to Cultural Periphery
       II. Transmission of Central Plain Culture
       III. Visual and Graphic Joys
       IV. Variation of Calligraphy
       V. Joy of Objective Forms
       VI. Figure Paintings
       VII. Formation of East-Asian Cultural Spheres
Chapter 8
Art in the Japanese Rule (1895-1945 A.D.): Border-crossing Art and Polyphonic Enlightenment
       I. Foreword
       II. Establishment of Art Education
       III. Artistic Atmosphere in the Taiwan Nichinichi Shinpo
       IV. Founding of the Official Art Exhibition
       V. Border-crossing Art
       VI. Polyphonic Enlightenment
Chapter 9
Circle of Painters in the Cold War (1950-1970): Transition of Political Views and Establishment of Cultural Orthodox
       I. From East-Asian Sacred War to the World’s Cold War
       II. “China” as Formed via Official Art Exhibition
       III. Creation of Water and Ink in the Context of “Cultural China”
       IV. Significance of Time and Space in Traditional Literati Paintings
       V. A Dark Corner
Chapter 10
From Orthodox to Diversity: Development after 1950s
       I. Debate of Orthodox National Painting in 1950s
       II. From Toyoga Painting to Ink Painting
       III. From Toyoga Painting to Gouache Painting
       IV. The Rise of Nativism
       V. Return to the Purity of Forms
       VI. Re-appearance of Tradition
       VII. Female Artists and Female Issues
Chapter 11
Popularization and Commercialization of “Fine Art”
       I. Fine Art and Life
       II. Father of Taiwan Crafts: Yen Shui-long
       III. Art Magazines
       IV. Public Venues for Exhibition
       V. A Reflection on Digitalization
Chapter 12
Between Reality and Virtuality: Development after 1980s
       I. Foreword
       II. “Gaze” and “Discourse” in Contemporary Art
       III. Various Issues in Contemporary Art
Chapter 1
Introduction
Liquid Subjectivity: New Perspectives on the Art History of Taiwan
       While writings on art history of Taiwan are closely intertwined with the history and historiography of modern Taiwan, it is not merely an established facet in history but should be regarded as a changing itinerary of artists’ searching for their subjectivity in art. Wang Pai-yuan of the 1950s and Hsieh Li-fa of the 1970s, influenced by their political views on history, pondered the development of fine arts in Taiwan in response to the historical atmospheres of their own times. Since 1980s, researches on art history focused on Taiwanese paintings and calligraphy in public and private collections; these researches attempt to trace the development of fine arts in Taiwan via existing works of ink and water. The historical view of this period was based on Lian Heng’s General History of Taiwan and regarded Chinese expatriate painters in Taiwan as the beginning point of art history in Taiwan. In 1990s, Chou Wan-yao’s A Pictorial History of Taiwan broke away with such Han-centered discourses on history of Taiwan and emphasized the importance of indigenous peoples in history of Taiwan. Afterwards, with newer publications on art history of Taiwan, the beginning point was further traced to include prehistoric archeological sites and indigenous arts.
       Hence, art history of Taiwan is not fixed within the domains of Han culture. As discoveries of prehistoric material culture have shown, development of art history reaches far more than the geographic confines of the Taiwan Island and has seen exchanges with Austronesian peoples whose language family spans to “Taiwan in the north, New Zealand in the south, Madagascar in the west, and Easter Island in the east.” In this period, the subjectivity of art in Taiwan was formed in the domain of Austronesian languages, which even led to Taiwan’s becoming the origin of the Austronesian language family. In the 17thcentury, with the advent of the Age of Discovery and the rise of Dutch East India Company or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), Taiwan, as the transshipment port in East Asia, engaged in exchanges of material culture with Euro-Asian territories. With the transmission of Chinese Confucian thoughts to Taiwan during the Ming-Zheng and Qing dynasties, a distinctive taste for painting and calligraphy gradually formed in a new geo-political relationship. In late 19th century, with the Japanese’s urge of “de-Asianization” and the ambition for a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” the development of art in Taiwan enjoyed a brand-new perspective. In mid-20th century, Republican government came to Taiwan and built Taiwan as a model of “Cultural China,” bringing about further changes to the expressions of art in Taiwan.
       What is noteworthy is how historical changes of Taiwan became part of the characteristics for the development of art in Taiwan. This lies not in how changes of time and space influenced the development of art history in Taiwan but in how this art history developed some kind of distinctive “liquid subjectivity” in such changes. The key to this discourse hinges on not taking external stimulus as the main condition for the development of art history; instead, the emphasis is on how artists explore subjectivity for the work or even for the self in such a liquid condition.
       Furthermore, art history of Taiwan cannot be regarded as simple reflection of art history of the West. The mainstream Western art history, tracing its origin from the Greek and Roman art, reflects a historical viewpoint upheld by people of certain taste. There have already been provocative and inspiring critiques on such particular taste, for example the discourses on the concept of “distinction” by Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) and the critique on power and knowledge by Michel Foucault (1926-1984). I think development of art history should not be addressed within the confines of certain taste. Fortunately, when reflecting on the development of art history in Taiwan, we see new opportunities for historical studies arising from the diversity and integration inherent in the history of Taiwan. Hence, painters without formal artistic training or folk crafts can also be regarded as subject of study in art history of Taiwan. The Nativist Movement of the 1970s further brought the works of amateur artists in artistic and academic spotlight.
       When the wall separating fine arts and folk crafts fell down, the value judgment concerning the dualistic concepts of purity/practical and elitist/popular is seriously questioned re-examined. Hence, the act of creation returns to become a simple practice of beauty. Expressions of such practice are highly personal. Yet personal experiences are closely related to social mobility and power structure. In this light, how one transforms personal experiences into visual language and manifest subjectivity with it in such changing condition becomes one key issue to be scrutinized in one’s study of Taiwan art history.
       If the boundary surrounding the identity of the artist is gradually blurred, the ways in which a work is seen and its meanings are made also show the characteristics of “multiplicity” attributed to the work by diverse viewers. This phenomenon is a constant factor in the development of Taiwan art history. (One great example of it was the discussion of “Orthodox National Painting” in the circles of painters in Taiwan in 1950s.)
       To sum up, this book utilize the concept of “liquid subjectivity” to think about the development of Taiwan art history. On the one hand, the book reflects on the previous discourses on periphery/center, colonialism/imperialism, and self/other; on the other hand, the book also serves as my response to the contemporary historical world. Because today’s world is one in which “parallel” exchange is possible, in which people freely shift between reality and virtuality, and in which technological experience allows human beings to take on others’ cultural lives as if putting on a “culture skin.” Hence, the key issue for today’s study of art history lies in how to present the exploration of self subjectivity in the liquidity of time, space, and culture.
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