Released: February 12, 2009
Lincoln, Neb. — Dr. Wu Hung, the founder and director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago, will be the next Geske Lecturer. His lecture, entitled "Contemporary Chinese Art and Urban Transformation," will be presented Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009, at 7 p.m. in the Sheldon Museum of Art's Ethel S. Abbott Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture in the Great Hall.
The past 25 years have witnessed two parallel changes in Chinese art and living environment, each unprecedented in the country's history. Whereas all the major urban centers have undergone a process of radical and at times traumatic transformation, contemporary art has also developed from scattered "un-official" expressions to a broad field encompassing divergent stylistic and ideological trends. This lecture explores the connections between these two developments through identifying various modes of architectural representations and relating these visual modes to the changing experience of the artists in the material landscape of metamorphoses like Beijing and Shanghai.
Hung is the founder and director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago, the Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum, and the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor in Chinese Art History at the Department of Art History and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Art and Science.
Hung's research interests include both traditional and contemporary fields. His more recent curatorial projects include Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (International Center of Photography and Smart Museum of Art, 2004), About Beauty in Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2005), the 6th Gwangju Biennale (First Chapter, 2006), Shu: Books in Contemporary Chinese Art (New York, China Institute Museum, 2006), Re-imagining Asia (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, March 2008), and a series of solo exhibitions of important contemporary Chinese artists (Xu Bing, Rong Rong, Song Dong, Miao Xiaochuan, Hong Lei, Zhang Dali, Shen Shaomin, Xia Xiaowan, Liu Hung, Shi Jinsong, Zhang Xiaotao, Xiang Jing, and others). He is currently preparing several exhibitions, including Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art held in the Smart Museum of Art in October 2008.
In addition to the catalogues of these exhibitions, Hung's publications on contemporary art include Chinese Art at the Crossroads: Between Past and Future, Between East and West (Hong Kong: New Art Media, 2001), Rong Rong's East Village (New York: Chambers Fine Arts, 2003), Xu Bing's Tabacoo Project (Beijing: 2006), Remaking Beijing: Tianmen Square and the Creation of Political Space (London and Chicago: Reaktion Books and University of Chicago Press, 2005), Art and Exhibition: Wu Hong on Contemporary Chinese Art (Guangzhou: Lingnan meishu chubanshe, 2005), Making History: Wu Hung on Contemporary Art (Hong Kong: Timezone8, 2008), and Breaking Their Own Paths: Wu Hung on Contemporary Chinese Artists (Guangzhou: Lingnan meishu chubanshe, 2005).
The Norman and Jane Geske Lectureship in the History of the Arts was established in 1995 through the generosity of Norman and Jane Geske and features noted scholars in the history of the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film, or architecture. The lectures are intended to advance the understanding and appreciation of the arts with creative writing and thinking that reflect the importance of historical perspective of the arts. The invited scholar will present a public lecture open to the campus and the community, focused ideally on a single work, art form, or artist that will subsequently be published and distributed to major research libraries throughout the United States.
For more information, visit www.unl.edu/finearts/geske.shtml.