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Monday, 20 November 2017, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Museum of London

China: New Nation, New Art, 1911-1932

Professor Craig Clunas

As the imperial system collapsed in China, the ‘New Culture Movement’ focused debate on new categories of ‘modernity’ and ‘tradition’. For artists, it posed the questions of what it meant to be both modern and Chinese – challenging them to show how ancient techniques could remain relevant. Artists began to travel abroad (to France, Japan, Germany, Britain and the USA) and become part of an increasingly international ‘art world’. The 1920s in China saw both the political chaos of warlordism, but also a flowering of creativity which drew on the keen awareness by many of China’s potential as part of a global modernism."}'>As the imperial system collapsed in China, the ‘New Culture Movement’ focused debate on new categories of ‘modernity’ and ‘tradition’. For artists, it posed the questions of what it meant to be both modern and Chinese – challenging them to show how ancient techniques could remain relevant. Artists began to travel abroad (to France, Japan, Germany, Britain and the USA) and become part of an increasingly international ‘art world’. The 1920s in China saw both the political chaos of warlordism, but also a flowering of creativity which drew on the keen awareness by many of China’s potential as part of a global modernism.


This lecture was part of the Being Human Festival 2017 which ran from 17th - 25th November.

More information on the festival can be found here: Being Human Festival 2017

Speaker_CraigClunas_370x370.jpg

Professor Clunas was Visiting Gresham Professor of Chinese Art in 2017-18. He is Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford. He is a historian of the art and history of China and focuses particularly on the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

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