Chicago: Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago, and Art Media Resources, Inc., 2021. Hardcover with Dust Jacket, 424 pages. Richly illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs of historical figures, texts, famous sites and masterworks, this volume examines photography’s profound impact on East Asian art and visual culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Inspired by the “Photography and the Art of East Asia” symposium held at the University of Chicago in May 2015, co-editors Wu Hung and Chelsea Foxwell have compiled these scholarly studies into a new book that deepens understanding of this important field of study. The essays reexamine existing ideas about photography’s relationship with art history and provide fresh perspectives and newly discovered information. Photographic reproductions of works of art and architecture resulted in the canonization of famous masterworks and stimulated the growth of the art market, and photography became an art medium in itself. Photographic representations of architecture and the built environment featured private gardens as well as the changing geopolitical meaning of the Beijing cityscape. Portrait photography acquired widespread popularity and heightened importance in many spheres of social, personal, and commercial life. Photography’s importance in different kinds of mass media burgeoned with the emergence of modern technologies of photographic journalism, shaping public opinion and political ideologies. Item #45928
“Photography and Art History,” the first section in the book, offers five original studies of key episodes in Japanese and Chinese art, challenging existing ideas about photography’s relationship with art history while providing newly discovered information. The second section, “Photography and Portraiture,” is devoted to portraiture, which acquired heightened importance in all spheres of social life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries due to the invention and popularity of photography. The third section, “Photography and Architecture,” centers on photographic representations of architecture and the built environment, exemplified by a group of private gardens and the cityscape of Beijing. The final section, “Photography and Mass Media,” explores photography’s relationship with different kinds of newspapers and magazines from alternative perspectives.