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September 14

Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints

Wednesday, September 14, 5–7 p.m.
Helmut Stern Auditorium

While the contemporary Chinese woodblock prints in the Multiple Impressions exhibition represent the latest developments in the long history of the printed image in China, a different type of woodblock print was produced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in commercial workshops for the mass market. These prints depicted a wide range of subjects, including protective guardians, auspicious images, tutelary household gods, Buddhist and Taoist deities, illustrations of stories from history, literature, and opera, and scenes of everyday life, as well as moral lessons and didactic narratives. Some were posted in houses at the time of the New Year; others were the focus of ceremonies performed at different times throughout the year. This talk by noted scholar Ellen Johnston Laing will draw on examples from UMMA’s and other museum collections to take a look at the subjects depicted in popular prints, their visual and artistic characteristics, their physical contexts, and the traditional ceremonies associated with them.

Dr. Laing is affiliated with the UM Center for Chinese Studies and has published extensively on the Chinese popular print. Her works include Art and Aesthetics in Chinese Popular Prints: Selections from the Muban Foundation Collection and Divine Rule and Earthly Bliss: Popular Chinese Prints: The Collection of Gerd and Lottie Wallenstein.

Multiple Impressions was organized by the University of Michigan Museum of Art with the cooperation and support of the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China. It is made possible in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, Confucius Institute, and Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

categories: Exhibitions Related Program