The Inner and Outer Aspects of Daoist Visual Culture

The Inner and Outer Aspects of Daoist Visual Culture

Talk by Shih-shan Susan Huang, Rice University

Thursday, October 17, 2013
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

This talk will elaborate the key concept of Daoist visual culture: the polarization of inner and outer images and the interconnectivity and tension between the two. The pictures associated with the inner system refer to the private and mental images generated in visualization as well as the artifacts made to correspond to such internal experiences. The images associated with the outer system cover the multimedia materiality tied to the physical rituals and encompass diagrammatic designs of ritual space, ritual artifacts, and the mobile spectacle of ritual performance.  From a theoretical perspective, this talk will also propose three modes of images central to Daoist symbolism: aniconic, immaterial/invisible, and ephemeral.


Shih-shan Susan Huang is an Associate Professor at Rice University, Department of Art History. Her current research focuses on the 10th-to-14th-century Daoist and Buddhist visual culture in China. Her first book, Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China, was published by the Harvard University Asia Center Publication (distributed by Harvard University Press) in 2012. Her other publications appeared in Artibus AsiaeOrientations, Ars Orientalis, and the Journal of Daoist Studies.


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Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013