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July 5, 2019 | 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Undergraduate Library, David Adamany Bernath Auditorium | Map
5155 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

The Chinese garden is timeless and universal. As the word paradise denoted for the Persians and Greeks, (paradaida for Persian and paradisos for the Greeks), the aim of the Chinese garden, since its inception over two thousand years ago, has been to create an otherworldly space for the immortals and sanctuary/utopia for human dwellers. Numerous gardens, large and small, have been created by powerful emperors and cultural elites over Chinese history and celebrated in writings and visual presentations.  In all regards, the Chinese garden is a microcosmic recreation of a macrocosmic universe and the full embodiment of Chinese art and culture in philosophy, aesthetics, literature and architecture.

Traversing across time and space, one can now witness the many intriguing creations in China and beyond that reflected on the essential notion and archetype of Chinese garden in a kaleidoscopic way. From the adaption and recreation of a classical Suzhou garden in the indoor space of the Astor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the pastiche of many eminent garden elements at the Huntington Chinese Garden in California, I would like to eventually focus on the compelling modern and post-modern rendering and implement of Chinese gardens by the two Pritzker Award ArchitectsI. M. Pei (b. 1917) and Wang Shu (b. 1963).

Keynote speaker Prof. Lee, Hui-shu
Professor, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles

Hui-shu Lee is a specialist in Chinese art history.  She received her doctorate degree from Yale University in 1994 after first studying at National Taiwan University and working in the National Palace Museum. Her field of specialization is Chinese painting and visual culture, with a particular focus on gender issues.  These include imperial female agency of the Song dynasty (960-1279) and dimensions of gender-crossing in late imperial China. Other areas of research are the cultural mapping of Hangzhou and its representation from the Southern Song (1127-1279), courtesan culture of Ming-Qing dynastic transition, the seventeenth-century individualist painter Bada Shanren (1626 -1705), and a number of modern and contemporary artists. She has received a number of awards and fellowships, including a Getty postdoctoral grant and a Getty Foundation grant for publication. Among her publications are Exquisite Moments: West Lake & Southern Song Art (New York: China Institute, 2001) and Empresses, Art, and Agency in Song Dynasty China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010). Currently, she is working on two book projects: Shifting gender persona in visual art and the representation of a place. In addition, extended from her research on Song art and culture she has also taken on “Poetics of Song Gardens” as another book plan, as well as a newly initiated research and exhibition project on the cliff inscriptions along the ancient “Shudao, or Roads to Shu.”

For more information about this event, please contact Haiyong Liu at (313) 577-9937 or