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Past Event

Saturday University: Landscape and Gender in Southern China

Sat Oct 14 2017

Asian Art Museum

Off-Site

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Dip into a variety of waterscapes, past and present, as our speakers explore a complex of meanings, cultural traditions, and contemporary environmental issues. How did water imagery in early China form a basis for philosophy? From Chinese landscape painting to climate change in low-lying Bangladesh, join us for a cruise through ideas about water.

October & December: Seattle University, Pigott Auditorium (PIGT)
November: Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium

The Way of Water: Reading Landscape and Gender in Southern Song China
Hui-shu Lee, Associate Professor in Chinese Art, University of California, Los Angeles
PIGT

Water as the embodiment of yin femininity, complementing yang masculinity, has been the most enduring element of Chinese cosmology. Water is also viewed as one of the twin components of Chinese landscape painting, known as shanshui, “mountains-and-water.”

No other epoch in Chinese history saw as full a manifestation of water physically and culturally than the Southern Song era (1127–1279). The imperial capital moved to Lin’an (Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province), one of the most celebrated locales in China, surrounded by the Zhe River and West Lake. Meanwhile, the depiction of landscape transformed, shifting from solid to void. Even more intriguing, the gradual feminization of landscape also coincided with the presence of powerful imperial women exerting political influence and artistic agency through the dynasty. This era of “excess yin,” is the subject of our scrutiny.

About the Presenter

Hui-shu Lee is Associate Professor of Chinese Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to Chinese painting and gender issues, she also works on representations of place, cultural mapping, and garden culture. Among her publications are Exquisite Moments: West Lake & Southern Song Art (New York: China Institute, 2001) and Empresses, Art, and Agency in Song Dynasty China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010).

Saturday University is held in partnership with the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle University, and Elliott Bay Book Company.

OTHER LECTURES IN THIS SERIES

Oct 7

The Way of Water in Early Chinese Thought
PIGT

Oct 7

The Way of Water in Early Chinese Thought
PIGT

OCT 14

The Way of Water: Reading Landscape and Gender in Southern Song China
PIGT

OCT 21

Architecture, Stepwells, and Cosmic Water in Western India
PIGT

OCT 28

Creating Land in Paradise: Protest, Rights, and Sacred Waters on Bali's South Coast
PIGT

NOV 4

Following Rivers Rich in Honey: Narratives of Travel, Environmental Design, and the Indian Landscape
SAM

NOV 11

History Flows from the Mekong Mud
SAM

NOV 18

The Pirate Archipelago: Images of Maritime Power in Late Medieval Japan
SAM

DEC 2

River Life and Climate Change in Bangladesh
PIGT

DEC 9

Hokusai’s Waterscapes
PIGT

Full series tickets: $80; SAM members $40
Individual lecture tickets are now available online in advance. They are still at the door the day of the lecture: $10, SAM members $5; free at the door for students with ID
Please arrive to your seat 10 minutes before the program starts, or your seat may be released.

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US

206.442.8480 gardnercenter@seattleartmuseum.org

Photo: Hui-shu Lee