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The Landscaped Folds: Gong Xian From a Medium Perspective

Thursday Lecture Series

dateSeptember 16, 2021 timeThursday, 12:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • This event will take place in person at the Heyman Center and virtually over Zoom. We ask that EVERYONE REGISTER VIA ZOOM, even those who plan to attend in person. Please read event description for further details.

  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Each TLS event will have its own Zoom registration. If you wish to attend all events, please register for each lecture individually.

  • Image Credit/Caption: Gong Xian, Cloudy Peaks (ca. 1674). Handscroll, ink on paper, 6.7 in x 37.0 ft (17 × 822 cm). The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.
Gong Xian, Cloudy Peaks (ca. 1674). Handscroll, ink on paper. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

Most of Gong Xian’s (1619-1789) long landscape handscrolls were originally produced as accordion albums, as indicated by the evenly distributed creases on the paper surface and the scores of bookworm holes penetrating the once folded works. How were these landscapes conceived with and enacted by the folds, and what can we make of their format metamorphosis during circulation? This talk probes into these questions and discusses them with the increasing ekphrasis in the treatises and catalogues of painting compiled in early modern and modern China to foreground the issues of medium and format in the study of traditional Chinese painting.

Attendance at SOF/Heyman events will follow Columbia-issued guidelines as they continue to develop. Given the current recommendations, we plan to allow in-person attendance for COLUMBIA AFFILIATES who have conformed with the on-campus guidelines. For everyone else, we're planning to livestream this event, allowing for virtual attendance.

This event also will be recorded. By being electronically present, you consent to the SOF/Heyman using such video for promotional purposes.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.