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Peripheral Modernism in the Global Context: Art and Society in Taiwan


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UCLA-NTNU Annual Conference

Online via Zoom Webinar


Friday, May 7, 2021 - Saturday, May 8, 2021

Click here to register


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Organized by Hui-shu Lee (Professor of Art History, UCLA) and Shu-mei Shih (Edward W. Said Professor of Comparative Literature, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian American Studies, UCLA)

This conference is presented as part of the UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative, a partnership of UCLA and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) that aims to create research synergies to promote cutting-edge research in Taiwan studies.

Download the complete conference program (PDF)

When modernism was considered a Western artistic movement, non-Western modernisms were considered derivative or belated. When modernism was considered a global movement, non-Western modernisms acquire meaning only through their relationship, whether historical or discursive, with Western modernism. Whether we take the “multiple modernisms” approach (that there are many different modernisms around the world), or “one modernism” approach (that there is one global modernism with multiple participants from different parts of the world), non-Western modernism is routinely peripheralized or pushed into insignificance. For a Pacific island country such as Taiwan, which is a nation-state without an UN-recognized state status since 1971, peripheralization of its modernist art has been its enduring and persistent fate. This conference takes stock of Taiwan’s modernist art in the global context, not only in terms of the unique role it played in Asia historically, but in terms of its participation in the interconnected global art world as a co-producer of that world.

Friday, May 7, 2021, 3:30–8:55 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)
(Friday, May 7, 6:30–11:55 pm EDT) 
(Saturday, May 8, 6:30–11:55 am Taiwan Time)
(Saturday, May 8, 8:30 am–1:55 pm Sydney Time)

3:30–4:00 pm Opening 
Shu-mei Shih, UCLA
Cindy Fan, Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement, UCLA
Cheng-chih Wu, President, NTNU
David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities, UCLA
Huei-Ling Chao, Dean, NTNU College of the Arts Min Zhou, Director, Asia Pacific Center, UCLA
Hui-shu Lee, UCLA

4:00–5:00 pm Keynote: Julia Andrews (Ohio State University)

Taiwanese Abstraction in Martial Law Period
(Moderator: Natalie Zhang, UCLA)

5:00–6:00 pm Featured Artist: Liu Kuo-Sung
Modernizing Ink Painting: A Personal Approach and Philosophy
(Moderator: Hui-shu Lee, UCLA)


6:00–6:15 pm Break

6:15–7:15 pm Panel 1: The Colonial Era (1895–1945)
(Moderator: Nikky Lin, NTNU)

Chinghsin Wu (Rutgers University)
Academicism's Absence? Early Artistic Modernism in Taiwan
Chia-chiu Tsai (NTNU)
The Translation or Refusal of Art in the Global Context: A Study of the Surrealistic Art in China and Taiwan during the 1930s Era 

7:25–8:55 pm Panel 2: Postwar Taiwan (1945–1987)
(Moderator: Shu-mei Shih, UCLA)

Nikky Lin (NTNU)
The Return of Modernism: Observations on the Emergence of Modernist Art and Literature in Cold-War Taiwan
Kuiyi Shen (UCSD)
Taiwan Art under the Cold War
An-Yi Pan (Cornell University)
Eclecticism, Modernity and Subjectivity in Postwar Taiwanese Art

Saturday, May 8, 2021, 4:00–8:00 pm PDT
(Saturday, May 8, 7:00–11:00 pm EDT)
(Sunday, May 9, 7:00–11:00 am Taiwan Time)
(Sunday, May 9, 9:00 am–1:00 pm Sydney Time)

4:00–5:00 pm Keynote: John Clark (University of Sydney)
Multiple or Singular Modernisms Seen Through the Taipei Biennial
(Moderator: Felix Ho Yuen Chan, UCLA)

5:00–6:00 pm Featured Artist: Mali Wu
Art as Social Catalyst: On My Art Journey and Reflections
(Moderator: Shu-mei Shih, UCLA)

6:00–6:15 pm Break

6:15–7:15 pm Panel 3: Siting Taiwan
(Moderator: Hui-shu Lee, UCLA)

Aida Yuen Wong (Brandeis University)
Hung Ken-shen (b. 1946) 's Shamo: Kill Ink and the Marginality of Kaohsiung
Lesley Ma (M+, Hong Kong)
Taipei, Bologna, London, Cumbria: Globality in Li Yuan-chia (1929–1994) 's Art
Sophie Mclntyre (Queensland University of Technology)
From the Margins to the World Stage: Taiwan Indigenous Art and Modernism in Local and Global Exhibitions 

7:45–8:00 pm Closing Remarks

Click here to register

The conference is supported by the UCLA Asia Pacific Center Taiwan Studies Program with funding from NTNU.




Download file: Taiwan-Art-and-Society-Conference-Program-nl-mwf.pdf

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Duration: 59:31

Liu-Kuo-Sung-Keynote-Presentation-za-lh4.mp3

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Sponsor(s): Asia Pacific Center