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An Artistic Exile: A Life of Feng Zikai (1898-1975) / Edition 1
     

An Artistic Exile: A Life of Feng Zikai (1898-1975) / Edition 1

by Geremie Randall Barme
 

ISBN-10: 0520208323

ISBN-13: 9780520208322

Pub. Date: 12/03/2002

Publisher: University of California Press

This engrossing book, a brilliant blend of biography and criticism, tells the story of Feng Zikai (1898-1975), one of the most gifted and important artists to emerge from the politically tumultuous decades of the 1920s and 1930s. Barmé provides a closely woven parallel history, that of the life of writer-artist Feng, who was also an essayist and a translator,

Overview

This engrossing book, a brilliant blend of biography and criticism, tells the story of Feng Zikai (1898-1975), one of the most gifted and important artists to emerge from the politically tumultuous decades of the 1920s and 1930s. Barmé provides a closely woven parallel history, that of the life of writer-artist Feng, who was also an essayist and a translator, and that of China's turbulent twentieth century. He investigates Feng Zikai's aesthetic vision, its development, and how it relates to traditional and contemporary Chinese cultural values and debates.

Although Feng was known for his so-called casual drawings, he was reluctant to classify his art. According to Barmé, much of his writing and painting was rooted in a philosophy of self-expression. Difficult to position in relation to existing Chinese political and social nomenclature, Feng remains, to a large extent, an enigma. He was sympathetic to the average person and the impoverished peasant, yet he was a romantic, and often identified with the increasingly politicized intelligentsia. A devout Buddhist, he was a close observer of nature and children, and while his art appeared gentle, it often carried a strong message.

Much has been written about Feng Zikai, a figure who has become popular among elite and mass audiences in the Chinese world once more, but no other work has examined his place among May Fourth writers and intellectuals nor his position within the context of China's artistic, religious, and literary tradition. An Artistic Exile moves straight to the heart of debates surrounding modernization, religion, science, the essence of a tradition in an age of colonial modernity, and the ethos of political and social thought in twentieth-century China.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520208322
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
12/03/2002
Series:
Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
482
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Taking Nature as Master
2. Journey to the East
3. The Artist and His Epithet
4. New Paintings for Old Poems
5. The Cult of the Child
6. Protecting Life and Preserving the Self
7. Marketplace and Mountains
8. A Chinese Perspective
9. The Artist Liberated
10. Belated Blossoming

Epilogue: The Art of Exile
Notes
Bibliography

Index

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