The Construction of Chinese Art History as a Modern Discipline in the Early Twentieth Century


  • Jialu Wang Heidelberg University



This paper challenges the dichotomies of modernity and tradition, West and East, global and local, by shedding light on the construction of Chinese art history as a modern discipline in the twentieth century. Through uncovering the conditions and power structures that made such construction possible, I argue that the “transfer” from a Western and Japanese art history template to Chinese art historical writing is not a unidirectional process. Rather, it must be embedded in broader cultural and political contexts which shaped the values and discourses of said period. The paper intends to use a transcultural approach to art histories, by considering the entanglements and transfers between cultures.

Author Biography

Jialu Wang, Heidelberg University

Jialu Wang is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelberg. Her areas of study are Visual, Media and Material Cultures, with a particular focus on China and its relationship with Europe. Her interests include contemporary media and cultural studies, global art history, and curating practices. She also holds an MA degree in Identity, Culture and Power from University College London and a BA degree in International Communications Studies from University of Nottingham Ningbo China.