B.A., Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages (China); M.A., Southern Methodist University; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University
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 (1966-1976). My study of Chinese and Asian art history began at Berkeley with Professor James Cahill (1926-2014), whose impact on me as a teacher-scholar has been enormous.
My current research focuses on the intersection of art, science and technology, commerce and material culture in 10th-12th-century China. I have also long been intrigued by Su Shi's (1037-1101) literati theory of poetry in painting and painting in poetry. Like each verse, each image speaks to us in its distinct voice and we need to learn how to listen and hear this silent sound. Moreover, an image often offers evidence that is absent in a text. My research has been recognized with a number of awards, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.
I teach a global art history survey with colleagues. My other courses include Asian art and architecture, Japanese art and architecture, Chinese art and architecture, theories and practices of Chinese painting, 20th-century Chinese art, and seminars on advanced topics tied to my research, such as the Song imperial painting academy and East Asian landscape and poetic painting. One of my most gratifying teaching experiences is to make students experience works of art first-hand through hands-on workshops, visits to the Davis Museum, and fieldtrips to museums and galleries in the Boston-New York area.
I have actively engaged in collecting, exhibiting, and teaching Chinese and Asian art at the Davis and the Jewett Art Gallery: Empathic Economics: The Work of Lee Mingwei (2000); Chinese Folk Art: Papercutting (2001); Chongqing Chilies: The American Tour (2004); Ukiyo-e: The Floating World of Edo Japan (2005); The Art of China, Japan, and Korea from the Davis Museum Collection (2006); On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West (2006); Xu Bing's "Any Questions?" Installation (2006); Art from the Native Soil: Chinese Peasant Paintings and Prints from Huxian, Jinshan and Qijiang (2008); the recent major reinstallation of the Asian art gallery at the Davis (2014-16), among others.
I was privileged to serve as chair of the Art Department in 2006-2009.