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Online Lecture

City Window

Date:  21 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Date: Friday, 21 July 2023

Time: 11 a.m.–12 noon (HKT)

Mode of delivery: Online via Zoom, registration required

Language: English



A palace courtyard, an apartment building, a hospital, a tea house. Are paintings of such urban places windows on the city? We might arrive at an answer to this question by first asking more simply, what is a window? This study explores oil paintings by four Chinese artists who encountered the capital city of Beijing through window frames from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. It conceptualises their project by way of Qian Zhongshu’s 錢鐘書 elegantly written essay ‘Windows’ 窗 (1948) in the anthology Arriving at the Margins of Life 寫在人生邊上.



Lisa Claypool is Associate Professor in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture program at the University of Alberta. She is the author of a book in progress, Boundary-Forms: Design and Science in Modern China. Her research focuses on the relationship of perception and representation at the interstices of art, design and the natural sciences in modern and contemporary China. She has published in the journals positions: east asia cultures critique, The Oxford Art Journal, and The Journal of Asian Studies, among others. Her popular blog ‘Staring at the Ceiling’ is a meditation on encounters with visual arts in China and the pan-China diaspora. Claypool’s work has been supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, a Mellon Senior Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and a Stanford Humanities Center Geballe Fellowship.


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