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Why Chinese Painting Is History

Wen C. Fong
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 85, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 258-280
Published by: College Art Association
DOI: 10.2307/3177344
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3177344
Page Count: 23
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Why Chinese Painting Is History
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Abstract

In a postmodern world, the most important task in the study of Chinese painting history is the description of a different visual language and its special meaning. This cannot be accomplished without a means of dating early Chinese paintings, which demands knowledge of a history of mimetic representations in Chinese art. Only then can changes in visual language be traced and their meaning understood. The author suggests that through the late thirteenth century, human genius was the agency that brought creativity into a universe lacking a monotheistic Creator, but subsequently, individuality or selfhood was considered the agent of change.

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