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Some Insights on the Genre of Bird Painting in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)

Date: 30 November 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: Room 10.28, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

The genre of bird painting became a well-established independent genre of practice in the Tang dynasty (618-907) and flourished in Song dynasty (960-1279) with the imperial support. The painters of Song Academy executed works rich in colour with detailed brushwork, and such meticulous style of painting formed the dominant mode of representation for bird paintings prior to the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). In the Yuan dynasty, the genre of bird painting underwent significant changes in various aspects. One of the major developments was the rise of the sub-genre of ink monochrome bird painting, and Wang Yuan 王淵 (act. c. 1300-1360) was the key person in its development. Apart from using ink alone, Wong Yuan also deployed the motif of pheasant with a novel iconographical arrangement in making his bird paintings. Through a general overview of the genre of bird painting prior to the Yuan dynasty and a discussion of the development of the genre in Yuan in this seminar, I argue that the changes of the motif of pheasant and the increasing use of ink monochrome in bird paintings were closely related to the rising market of wealthy elites and the development of literati taste in the period.

Speaker: Leung Ge Yau Candy (PhD Candidate, Department of Fine Arts, HKU)

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