This GILD recent PhD lecture will feature Dr. Anne Feng presenting "Assembling Gods: Ecology, Memory, and Temple Murals in North China (1300-1700)". This talk rethinks the development of the mural in Chinese art by examining the Temple of the Three Lords in rural Shanxi. Rather than treat wall painting as didactic illustrations, Feng shows how local ateliers developed sophisticated visual strategies to respond to the lived realities of the sixteenth century. Murals constituted a site where power could be contested. While a “court audience” theme built around the assembly of “three gods” sought to establish a local myth, the fragmentation of perspectives within the mural made visible the concerns of residents with a precarious ecology of drought and locust infestation.
Anne Feng is an Assistant Professor of Chinese Art at Boston University. Her research interests include visual and material cultures of the Silk Road, theories of vision and meditation, mural painting, and representations of Buddhist Pure Lands. She is currently preparing a monograph that explores the impact of an aquatic imaginary on immersive architectural schemes of the Buddhist cave complex Dunhuang, in northwest China. Her works are featured in Archives of Asian Art, Studies in Late Antiquity, Journal of Silk Road Studies, and edited volumes on Chinese art and architecture. She is the recipient of the East Asia Career Development Professorship at Boston University. Her work has been supported by the Dunhuang Foundation, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and the Fulbright-IIE Fellowship. Before joining BU, Anne has also worked at the Palace Museum, Beijing, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
This lecture will be begin with Dr. Anne N. Feng’s talk followed by a brief Q&A . History of Art graduate students will then be invited to stay on for an informal conversation with Dr. Feng. The lecture will take place on March 1 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. This event is virtual and registration is required in advance. Please register for the event here. You will receive a confirmation email following registration with the meeting link. If you require accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Allison Buenger at email@example.com. Requests made two weeks before the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.
Image credit: Chang and Chen workshops, Catching the Locust. Detail of the east wall, main hall, Temple of the Three Lords, Ming dynasty (1368–1644), completed in 1507. Xinjiang county, Shanxi province, China.