Art and Nature: Maritime Material Culture from China in Historic Collections and Contemporary Artefacts
This talk introduces early modern and modern definitions of what constitutes and defines ‘art’ and ‘nature’ in different cultural contexts.
DESCRIPTION About the speaker Enquiry
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?
(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).