Lihong Liu, PhD

Visiting scholar

Lihong Liu is a Chinese art historian who teaches at the University of Rochester in the United States. She studied medieval Buddhist and Daoist arts at Peking University, China, and Chinese paintings of the Ming and Qing periods (1368–1911) at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. After she obtained her PhD in the history of art and archaeology at New York University, she held residential postdoctoral fellowships at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington DC. Liu's recent research projects have variously involved attempts to develop an ecological approach to art history, the transcultural study of material medium, and studies of the art of simulation and automation. She also has a longstanding interest in the arts and material culture of the Silk Routes, of which include issues related to the transmission of Buddhism as well as the interchange between China and the Islamic world.

  • Chinese painting and calligraphy
  • Buddhist and Daoist arts
  • Landscape and environment
  • Cross-cultural studies (early modern global exchange, the Silk Routes)
  • Material culture
  • Philosophy of art and science

The Real Scene: Landscape, Ecology, and the Matter of Painting

This book project deals with a fundamental notion and practice of Chinese landscape painting, shijing (literally, "the real scene"). Shijing painting became especially popular during the mid-Ming period (ca. 1450–1550) when artists' quest for the "real" (shi) in their paintings coincided with people's quest for the "scenic" (jing) in their living surroundings. This scenic realism, I argue, emerged as an eco-pictorial mode that activates the mutual evocations between painting and a sense of place, and between art and the everyday cosmos.


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