On November 25, 2017, “Art History in China – The 11th Chinese Higher Education Art History Congress; the 60th Anniversary of CAFA Art History Department & the International Academic Conference” was held in the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum. Hundreds of art historians from universities and research institutes around the world gathered in the Central Academy of Fine Arts to recall the occurrence, development and expansion of art history in China in the Auditorium of the CAFA Art Museum, sharing a new panorama of art history in China.

At the opening ceremony, Prof. Fan Di’an, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Shao Dazhen, a senior professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and Xue Yongnian, former Dean of the Department of Art History at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, delivered speeches one after another. Participants together watched the commemorative video produced by the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and jointly “witnessed” the sixty years of memories of the nine gentlemen from the Department of Art history. And then Wu Hong (Wu Hung), a schoolfellow of the Department of Art history at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and a professor from the University of Chicago, and Yin Ji’nan, Dean of the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, respectively delivered a keynote speech. Moderator Prof. Li Jun, Deputy Dean of the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, also presented a letter of congratulation from the Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art (abbr. CIHA).

There were two panels in the afternoon. Panel One was themed on Chinese Art History in the Early Period and Art Archeology, inviting Prof. Wang Yuejin from Harvard University, Pro. Su Rongyu from Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nanjing University of the Arts, Prof. Li Qingquan from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Prof. Li Meitian from Renmin University of China, and Zhao Xianchao from Peking University to deliver a speech in succession. Prof. Zhao Nong from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts hosted the panel, and Prof. Li Xingming from Fudan University and Prof. He Xilin from Central Academy of Fine Arts served as the commentators. In the section of comment and Q & A, the scholars had discussions from the perspectives of the function and logic of image.

Panel Two was themed on the “World Art History”. Liu Jinjin from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Luca Zordan from Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance, Mao Qiuyue from Zhejiang University, Feng Han from Peking University, Gao Ming from Peking University, Zhao Yan from Central Academy of Fine Arts, respectively reported their academic achievements. Song Yucheng from LuXun Academy of Fine Arts served as the Moderator, Prof. Zhang Jian from China Academy of Art and Prof. Zhang Gan from Tsinghua University severed as the commentators. In the final section of comments and Q & A, honored guests and speakers had heated discussions on the issues of global vision and visual cultural research.

On November 26, 2017, four panels were held.

Panel Three “Cross-Cultural Art History” invited Prof. Mu Hongyan from Beijing Foreign Studies University, Prof. Gao Liang from Shanghai University, Associated Professor Wang Yun from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Jiao Zhanyu from Sichuan Technology and Business University, and Zheng Yikan from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales to deliver, in succession, a keynote speech. Prof. Shao Liang from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts served as Moderator, while Prof. Li Jun from Central Academy of Fine Arts and Wu Liji from the Inner Mongolia Normal University served as the commentators of the panel. In the section of comment and Q & A, all the scholars had discussions on  intercultural communication, influence and localization of the religions including Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Under the background of “The Belt and Road”, cross-cultural exchange and artistic studies which are particular important.

Panel Four “Art Theory and Methodology” invited Prof. Zou Jianlin from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Ms. Xie Bo from University of Pennsylvania – Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Associated Professor Wen Tao from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Ms. Li Zhu from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Ms. Liu Ting from Sichuan Normal University respectively reported their academic achievements. Prof. Huang Houming from Zhejiang University served as Moderator, while Prof. Chang Ningsheng from Nanjing University of the Arts, and Prof. Shen Wei from Hubei Academy of Fine Arts acted as commentators of this panel. In the section of comments and Q & A, the honored guests and speakers had discussions on a variety of issues of the art theory & methodology, and it concluded that the theory and methodology have become an indispensable part of the research of art history because of the oriented characteristics of research.

Panel Five “Chinese Art History in the Late Period” invited Prof. Li Song from Peking University, Yu Hui from The Palace Museum, Li You from the City University of Hong Kong, Zhao Jing from Zhejiang University, and Guo Wenzhong from Xinjiang University, to respectively delivered a speech. Prof. Fan Jingzhong from China Academy of Art served as Moderator, while Prof. Ni Zhiyun from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and Prof. Zhang Changhong from Shanghai University served as the commentators of the panel. In the section of comment and Q & A, Prof. Fan Jingzhong jokingly claimed that this panel should be called “a conservative Chinese art history”, and the speakers & the audience had a lively discussion on the reviewing of ancient Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Panel Six “Chinese Art History in the Twentieth Century” invited Prof. Hu Suxin (Sarah E. Fraser) from Universität Heidelberg, Associated Professor Tang Hongfeng from the Beijing Normal University, Associated Professor Wu Xueshan from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Ms. Yang Xiao from Chinese National Academy of Arts, and Ms. Wang Ziqi from National Taiwan University of Arts respectively delivered a keynote speech. Prof. Huang Zongxian from Sichuan University served as Moderator, while Prof. Li Gongming from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts) and Prof. Cao Qinghui from the Central Academy of Fine Arts served as commentator of the panel. In the section of comment and Q & A, the commentator considered that a unique studying system was very important for young scholars to study the art history of the 20th century, and several scholars then had discussions on the issues of the modern history of painting, the performance of art in the modern social development, and the art management of the new century.

On the afternoon of November 26, after the two-day conference was successfully completed, “Art History in China – The 11th Chinese Higher Education Art History Congress; the 60th Anniversary of CAFA Art History Department & the International Academic Conference” successfully concluded in the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum of the day. At the closing ceremony, they held a book launch of “Collected Works of Wang Xun”which was recently published by Shanghai Calligraphy and Painting Publishing House. Wang Lixiang, President of Shanghai Literature and Art Press, and Wang Han, the family member of Wang Xun, respectively introduced the anthology covering a large number of manuscripts of his lifetime, which were published for the first time, to the honored guests. “Collected Works of Wang Xun” includes the articles, translations, letters and other important documents of Wang Xun, offering the academic community valuable information, to supplement the blankness of a period of Chinese art history. They also conducted a new book donation ceremony at the book launch.

Subsequently, Prof. Li Jun, Deputy Dean of the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, made a general comment on all the speeches of the conference. He believed that the scholars from many countries and regions at home and abroad, attended this conference, among the audience, young scholars dominated the participants, showing unprecedented characteristics of internationalization and youths, which was a new development in the study of art history. At the same time, the academic discussion on the conference has gone far beyond the original academic framework, and the academic research of the methodology and cross-cultural perspective which is a new expansion of the discipline of Chinese art history.

Prof. Yin Ji’nan, Dean of the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, delivered a closing speech and thanked more than 150 participants at home and abroad, thanking also international art historians who attended the conference, as well as all teachers and students from the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and especially generations of scholars who have made contributions to the discipline of Chinese art history in the past 60 years. Yin finally put forward the proposal for the development of the discipline of art history, and announced that the 12th Chinese Higher Education Art History Congress would be held at LuXun Academy of Fine Arts. Prof. Song Yucheng from LuXun Academy of Fine Arts delivered a speech on behalf of the next organizer, at the end of the closing ceremony.

Courtesy of the School of Humanities, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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