Dr Lianming Wang

Visiting scholar

Lianming Wang ha insegnato all’Università di Würzburg (Lecturer, 2009-11) e all’Università di Heidelberg (Assistant Professor, 2014-21). Wang è stato Art Histories Fellow (2018/19) nel gruppo di ricerca “Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices” presso il Forum Transregional Studies di Berlino (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz). Le sue aree di ricerca spaziano dagli incontri artistici e culturali a livello globale nel periodo premoderno alle pratiche artistiche e la materialità associate al mondo animale in un contesto transterritoriale. Wang è l’autore di Jesuitenerbe in Peking: Sakralbauten und transkulturelle Räume 1600-1800 (2020), e ha organizzato conferenze e workshops relativi alle attività di scambio tra Cina e Europea. Tra essi figurano Reframing Chinese Objects: Practices of Collecting and Displaying in Europe and the Islamic World, 1400-1800 (co-organizzatore) e Before the Silk Road: Eurasian Interactions in the First Millennium BC (organizzatore). Recentemente Wang ha ricevuto il Premio Klaus Georg e Sigrid Hengstberger e il Premio per l’Accademia elargito dalla Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Animal enjoyed a momentous status in China’s early-modern histories as both the subject and object of long-distance commercial interactions and vibrant global encounters. Defined as “transgressive animals,” ranging from Central Asian steeds and peacocks to Mediterranean coral and hornbill skull, shagreen, pangolin scale, and numerous feather tributes from South Asia, their trans-territorial and indeed global movement deconstructed existing ecological, sociobiological, and even geopolitical regimes.

This interdisciplinary project seeks to explore China’s early-modern global histories through an analytical “animal lens.” Approaching four themes connected to transgressive animals – space and built environment, monumentality, materiality, and knowledge –, it attempts to discuss the wide array of agencies that animals performed in shaping economic, diplomatic and artistic connections in terms of their types of movement – physical, conceptual, commercial and intellectual. To be specific, the project explores the multi-layered copying and translation of images, issues of collecting and display as well as the entangled histories of material practices that relate to transgressive animals.

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