With a PhD in Chinese art history from Heidelberg University, WANG Yizhou (born in Chongqing) has been trained in East Asian art history in the British, German, and Japanese university systems. Before her doctoral study, she studied Japanese and Korean art history at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and then she received an M.Litt. in Arts of China from the University of Glasgow. Later, she worked at the Calligraphy and Painting Department of the Palace Museum Beijing in 2014. She was a visiting research associate at Kyoto University and then the University of Tokyo in the years 2017 and 2018. In 2022, she was a research fellow of the BMBF-funded joint project “Worldmaking from a Global Perspective: A Dialogue with China” at the Joint Centre for Advanced Studies, Germany; and she was also a virtual faculty resident of Plant Humanities Initiative at Dumbarton Oaks, trustees for Harvard University. She is now a research assistant professor in art history and theory at the Academy of Visual Arts of Hong Kong Baptist University.
She has published peer-viewed articles in Ming Qing Studies, Research on Women in Modern Chinese History, Chung Cheng Chinese Studies, and edited volumes since 2014. Her research interests cover various topics in East Asian art history, ranging from painting to photography and from medieval and early modern periods to modern times. She has been invited to give talks or lectures hosted by institutions in London, Paris, Berlin, Heidelberg, Leiden, Venice, Lisbon, New York, Indiana, Toronto, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Shanghai, Taiwan, New Delhi, etc. She has (co-)organized numerous conference panels internationally and the international interdisciplinary workshop “Living an Epoch with Nature: Plant and Spatial Representations in the Ming-Qing Transition” at Heidelberg University.
Besides academic research, WANG Yizhou is also enthusiastic about experimenting with curatorial practice and video arts. She is devoted to exploring the transformation of intellectual ideas and arguments into visual arts.
WANG Yizhou’s research interests include Chinese paintings, Ming-Qing visual and material culture, gender studies, women artists, (self-)portraiture, courtesan and literati culture, Sino-Japanese art interactions, plant and environmental humanities, and early East Asian photography on/by women. She has a long-term enthusiasm for reinterpreting Chinese art through the lens of gender. Most recently, she has been keen on investigating issues: How did artists in pre-modern China react to personal and social crises and natural calamities through ecological art practices (especially plants)? Does a transcultural perspective make sense? How can we make connections with contemporary art? Meanwhile, she has an emerging interest in exploring the boundary and interaction between images and music.
I believe that every individual has the great potential to come up with his or her unique responses and powerful ideas when observing an object of art or encountering a topic. The moment of interaction and vibration in one’s inner mind can create the precious seed for inspiring innovative ideas and art creation beyond repetition and convention. I welcome and encourage my students to engage with the objects and primary materials with their individual “fresh eyes” from diverse perspectives and to express their ideas and reactions freely.