Professor Emeritus, Art History
School of Humanities
PH.D., Yale University
Fax: (949) 824-2464
University of California, Irvine
2000 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2785
Irvine, CA 92697
Chinese art and archaeology, Buddhist art and popular religions
My research has been guided by a concern with how Chinese art history has been shaped by forces both inside and outside China, in particular, how recent archaeological finds have transformed our present understanding and future direction of the field.
In recent years, my major efforts have been directed towards the completion of two book projects concerning intercultural contacts on the Silk Road and the impact on art, image-production, and visual and religious practices in pre-modern China. The first book, The Art of the Storyteller: Translation of a Buddhist Theme in Early Medieval China, concerns issues of visual and textual translations of a Buddhist story--the Vimalakirtinirdesa sutra, and the creation of the storyteller as a cultural hero. The second book, Family and Redemption: Emotional Themes in Chinese Art During the North/South Division, concerns the emergence of an unprecedented emotional vocabulary during a period of decentralization when north China was under the conquest dynasty of the Tuoba Wei. It analyzes how various anxieties concerning family ideology, the position of women, and other conflicts between the Chinese and nomadic populace were played out in illustrations of Confucian filial piety and Buddhist stories that were circulating in tombs, ancestral shrines and Buddhist temples at the time.
Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies