Loading Events
This event has passed.

Christian Literati in Ming China: Wu Li (1632-1718)

Date: 17 November 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 5:00pm
Venue: Room 2.38, Main Building, HKU

Born in the late Ming, Wu Li (1632-1718) was trained as a literatus and skilled in the Confucian classics, poetry, music, and painting. The training enabled him to join a broader social network that connected literati elite across the country. Amongst Wu Li’s network of friends was Xu Zhijian, a scholar official who was criticized and dismissed in an anti-Christian campaign. He was rehabilitated in 1669 and Wu Li traveled with him to Beijing the year after. The 1670s was when we see Wu Li showed an interest in Christianity and embraced his new identity as a Christian literatus. He used his literati skill to compose Chinese hymns and poetry of religious subject matters. However, as a painter, it is still commonly held that Wu Li rejected western techniques and adhered to Chinese painting traditions. This talk, based on my current thesis research, will examine Wu’s paintings and argue that it is possible to see an impact of Christianity in them. I will focus primarily on the printing and publishing culture of the late Ming, Jesuit’s roles in China and the artist’s literary work to provide an new interpretation of Wu Li’s landscape painting.

Speaker: Fung Nok Kan Nicole (MPhil Candidate, Department of Fine Arts, HKU)