A Lecture with Art Historian and Curator Pi Li

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm, Fowler - Lecture/Classroom - A103B - Lenart Auditorium

The Other Side of Revolution: "Tradition," Narrated in Twentieth-Century Chinese Art

See below for additional information.


Free and open to the public. Registration required.


Fowler Museum at UCLA
(310) 267-4007



Additional Information

In the discourse of art in twentieth-century China, from the beginning of the New Culture Movement to socialist art and literature and the New Wave, the concept of tradition was associated with backwardness, ignorance, and rigidity—the opposite of revolution, progress, and the avant-garde. At the same time, tradition is a notion driven by modernity and capitalism to anchor a work of art to a distinguishable point in time.

In this lecture, art historian and curator Pi Li seeks to address the complexities of defining tradition in the context of Chinese contemporary art practice and the market forces of supply and demand. Pi’s presentation will move through the twentieth century, focusing on three questions related to the topic of tradition in China. How did political and cultural movements recognize tradition, in its modern sense, and its cultural and intellectual significance? What was the relationship between tradition and revolution and progress? How has contemporary art since the 85 New Wave made peace with tradition? Pi explores evidence in contemporary abstract painting, new literati painting, and the reintroduction of Zen into art practice, as well as in the more recent developments of conceptual photography and the new ink art movement.

Please join us before the lecture for a light welcome reception at 5:30pm.

About Pi Li
Pi Li is the Sigg Senior Curator of M+, a visual culture museum in Hong Kong

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