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Spring 2004 - DOC

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					VIS 127 N
Winter Quarter 2010
Tuesdays and Thursday, 12:30–1:50
Center Hall 109

Instructor: Professor Norman Bryson
Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:00–12:00, in the Visual Arts Facility Courtyard

                            Topics in Modern Art History –

                  Modern Art and Visual Culture
                 in 20th-Century China and Japan

We are used to only one modernity, that of the West. But there are other modernities,
and in this course we will be looking at two alternative experiences of the modern, in
Japan and China.

Our aim is not comprehensive coverage of the advent of modern art and visual culture
– even if such an undertaking were possible. Rather we will be exploring key
moments when a specific constellation of the modern emerges, of course overlapping
with the West in some respects -- urbanization, industrialization, social reform,
increased velocities of social change --ut each showing its distinctive character, in a
world where modernity cannot be fully understood if we believe it to be a single,
global process.

Reading Assignments
All course materials -- slides as well as texts – will be placed online during the first days of
term. Visit the course website at


and click on VIS 127N. To access your readings week by week, click on Documents. To
view all slides shown during the lectures, click on Images.

At the Course Website you will also be able to access the latest version of the Syllabus, the
Mid-Term Study Guide, and the Final Exam Study Guide. .

For this fine on-line resource we owe a debt of thanks to our excellent technical advisors at
Academic Computing Services, especially: Vance Tran.
Course assignments
2 lectures per week. If you miss a lecture, try and arrange with a fellow student to go over
their notes with them. Review the podcast of the lecture at:

Each week there will be two reading assignments, usually chapter or article length.
I recommend that you read the texts during the week they refer to.

There will be an in-class Written Test (Mid-Term) on Thursday, February 4. It will count
for 40% of your eventual grade.

The Final Exam is scheduled for Friday, December 11, from 11:30 to 2:30
at our usual venue, Center Hall 109. The Final will count for 60% of your total grade.

                          So: Welcome to VIS 127!

       It's not only about getting good grades. Or a good working knowledge of modern art.
       We hope it is going to change the way you see. And that just might change your life.



Session 1: Tuesday January 5: Edo Visuality and the West
Timon Screech, “Sex and Consumerism in Edo Japan”

Session 2: Thursday January 7: Edo and Modernity
Timon Screech, "Machinery for Pictures"

Session 3: Tuesday January 12: CLASS CANCELLED / PROF HAS FLU

Session 4: Thursday January 14: Tokyo Under Construction
Reading: Julia Meech-Pekarik, “Pride in Progress: The Modernization of Tokyo”

Session 5: Tuesday, January 19: Modernizing Sexuality: Western-Style Painting
Reading: N. Bryson, “Westernizing Bodies: Women, Art and Power in Meiji Yōga”

Session 6: Thursday January 21: Gutai and the Avant-Garde
Reading: Alexandra Munroe, “To Challenge the Mid-Summer Sun: The Gutai Group"

Session 7: Tuesday January 26: The Dance of Absolute Darkness
Reading: A. Munroe, “Revolt of the Flesh: Ankoku Butoh and Obsessional Art”
Screening: Dance of Darkness: A Documentary, dir. Edin Velez (1989)

NOTE: If you want to re-view the documentary on Butoh we saw in class
(Edin Velez, director, Dance of Darkness), either ask to see the DVD at Geisel Film
and Video Library (where it's Library Use Only) -- or, if you refer, you can see the
whole film (in six separate chapters) online at

Session 8: Thursday January 28: Mishima Yukio and Performance Art
Reading (optional, not required reading for the Mid-Term Written Test):
N. Bryson, “Mishima Yukio and Hosoe Eikoh’s Ordeal by Roses”

Session 9: Tuesday February 2: Morimura Yasumasa and Performance Art
Reading (optional, not required reading for the Mid-Term Written Test):
N. Bryson, “Morimura: Three Readings”

Session 10: Thursday February 4: Mid-Term Written Test

Session 11: Tuesday February 9: China and the West
Reading: Edwin E. Moise, “The Collapse of the Old Order” (Moise Collapse)
         David E. Fraser, “Eyes in the Storm” (Fraser Eyes)

Session 12: Thursday February 11: Modernizing Shanghai
Reading: Kuiyi Shen, "Patronage and the Beginning of a Modern Art World
                      in Late Qing Shanghai" (Shen Patronage)

Session 13: Tuesday February 16: Modernity and Civil Conflict in China
Reading: Julia Andrews, “Revolutionaries and Academics:
                          Art of the Republican Period" – go to
and click on: Chapter One

Session 14: Thursday February 18: Art Under Socialism
Reading: Vladimir Paperny, from Architecture in the Age of Stalin: Culture Two
         (Paperny Culture II, Part 1, 2, and 3: pp. 13-23, 32-39)

Session 15: Tuesday February 23: Art and Revolution 1
Reading: Edwin E. Moise, “The Cultural Revolution"
          (Moise Cultural Revolution)

Session 16: Thursday February 25: Art and Revolution 2
Reading: Julia Andrews, “The Cultural Revolution” – go to
and click on: Chapter Six
Screening: from The Red Detachment of Women (1970)

Session 17: Tuesday March 2: Art and Revolution 3
Reading: Martina Köppel-Yang, from Semiotic Warfare (Koppel-Yang)
Screening: from Farewell, My Concubine (1993)

Session 18: Thursday March 4: The Avant-Garde of the 1980s
Reading: N. Bryson, “The Post-Ideological Avant-Garde” (Bryson Post-Ideological)

Session 19: Tuesday March 9: Diasporas and Exiles
Reading: Michael Knight & Li Huayi: from The Monumental Landscapes of Li Huayi
         (Li Huayi)

Session 20: Thursday March 11: The Global Art Economy Since 1991
Reading: Gao Minglu, "Chinese Maximalism"

                                Final Exam:
                   Friday, December 11, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
                               Center Hall 109