This project will examine depiction of animals, real or imaginary, in Chinese painting. Focusing on the symbolic associations of zoomorphic images, it will explore how different meanings--auspicious, political, moral, or personal--are activated in different contexts and shaped by different textual and pictorial framings.
Each student participant will choose an artist specialized in depiction of animals, or a zoomorphic subject, as the focus of his/her research. Based on the primary data and secondary sources collected, he/she will contextualise the production of such images and propose interpretation of their meanings and functions.
At the end of this project, the student participant will learn to
1. Collect visual and textual data related to the project independently.
2. Acquire a solid knowledge of the system of animal symbolism in Chinese art and culture
3. Analyse the visual and textual data they have collected and reach an insightful understanding of the meanings and functions of zoomorphic representations in Chinese painting.