Heping Liu

Heping Liu

(781) 283-3371
B.A., Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages (China); M.A., Southern Methodist University; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University

Heping Liu
Associate Professor of Art

Asian art historian and specialist in Chinese painting of the Song dynasty (960-1279).

I grew up in China and was among the first college students after Mao's Cultural Revolution (1966-76). I began my study of Chinese art history at Berkeley with Professor James Cahill, whose impact on me as scholar-teacher is enormous. My research focuses on painting and society in Song China. Fieldwork has taken me to museum collections and library archives and, more excitingly, to archaeological sites. Travels along the ancient Silk Road and from the old Grand Canal to the Yellow River shore and visits to the imperial mausoleums and ancient ruins, all have made me better understand what "the use of history" means (as defined by Confucius and by Marc Bloch) both from an academic viewpoint and as a way of life. My recent studies address issues of art and science and technology, painting and poetry of exile, landscape of ecology, and cross-cultural connections between India and China in the 10th-11th century. My publications include articles in The Art Bulletin, Artibus Asiae, and Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology as well as book chapters by Brill and the Palace Museum in Beijing. I have been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for my book project “Painting and Empire: The Making of Imperial Art in Early Northern Song China, 960-1063.”

My teaching consists of courses in Asian art and architecture, Japanese art and architecture, Chinese art and architecture, Chinese painting, 20th-century Chinese art, and seminars on advanced topics closely tied to my research: Northern Song imperial painting academy, landscape and poetic painting. I am also a member of the teaching team for a global art history survey. One of my most gratifying teaching experiences is to make students experience works of art first-hand by taking them on field trips to museums and galleries in the Boston-New York area.

I have presented research papers at College Art Association annual conferences, Salzburg Global Seminar, the International Congress of Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art in London, Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the Palace Museum in both Beijing and Taipei, Shanghai Museum, as well as invited lectures at Princeton, Harvard, Chicago, and Bard Graduate Center. I have also been invited to give talks to art and art history students in China, often during my summer fieldwork there. I served as chair of the Art Department in 2006-2009.