Date: 19 Jan 2018 (Friday)

Time: 6:30pm – 8pm

Venue: CVA 312, Communication & Visual Arts Building, Hong Kong Baptist University (5 Hereford Road, Kowloon Tong)

Language: English

*CCL Accredited

This talk introduces early modern and modern definitions of what constitutes and defines ‘art’ and ‘nature’ in different cultural contexts. Special attention will be given to the equivalences perceived between the creative forces of craftsmen and artists as distinguished from or even competing with the creative forces of ‘nature’ as well as ‘the super-natural’. Limiting itself to examples in the field of maritime material culture, addressing pearls, corals and shells, the talk highlights shifts in the meanings of objects as they move between Asia and Europe. How can an Asian shell become a trophy and represent European conquest in the framework of Dutch collecting? Why are coral fragments from the Mediterranean Sea imported to imperial China? Furthermore, are the ways in which contemporary artists engage with maritime matters related to historic practices?

About the speaker:

Anna Grasskamp (PhD, Leiden University) is Research Assistant Professor at Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University and Associate Member of Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context at Heidelberg University. Her publications include “EurAsian Layers: Netherlandish Surfaces and Early Modern Chinese Artefacts,” The Rijksmuseum Bulletin 63, 4 (2015): 363-98; “Spirals and Shells: Breasted Vessels in Sixteenth-Century Nuremberg,” Res: Anthropology and aesthetics 67/68 (2016/17): 146-163; “框架自然:從清宮中的三件珊瑚藝品論起 [Framing Nature: Three Coral Objects from the Qing Imperial Collections in Context],” Gugong Wenwu Yuekan 399 (2016): 108-117; and a contribution to Qing Encounters: Artistic Exchanges between China and the West (Getty Research Institute, 2015).

Enquiry: 3411 8272 /

** We are sorry the registration is now closed as we have reached our full capacity for the talk. **