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2021 KS Lo Memorial Lecture

Tuesday 22nd March 2022, 7pm (HKT) via MS Teams

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The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong is delighted to bring you the 2021 K.S. Lo lecture by Professor Lara Blanchard on Making Images of Feelings: Interiority, Passion, and Meaning in Song Dynasty Paintings of Women.

In this talk, Professor Blanchard will examine the ways in which paintings of women from China’s Song dynasty (960–1279) reveal emotions and even passion through their correspondence to erotic poetry. Through scrutiny of paintings including the Night Revels of Han Xizai after Gu Hongzhong (937–975) and Song paintings of women in gardens, Professor Blanchard will discuss ideas of gendered authorship and audience, examining the role of feelings in constructions of gender. Professor Blanchard’s innovative analyses of images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focuses on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. These paintings are often interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artefacts of desire.

In contrast, Professor Blanchard proposes that such images address the concerns of artists, patrons, as well as viewers and can be understood as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interior feelings, or models of idealised femininity. The imagery in these paintings is expressive of ideas that can open them up to multiple interpretations, and in this way is similar to poetic imagery.

Lara C. W. Blanchard is the Luce Professor of East Asian Art and Lloyd Wright Professor in Conservative Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. She received her Ph.D. in history of art from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on Chinese pictorial arts from the Song dynasty to the present, with particular attention to representations of women, women artists, and women patrons, as well as interrelationships of texts and images. Her articles have been published in the journals Ars Orientalis, Artibus Asiae, Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China, and positions: asia critique. Her 2018 book, Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire: Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry, received the 2020 Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize (China) from the Association for Asian Studies.

This lecture will be presented as a free online event, using Microsoft Teams. No registration is required. If you are joining a Microsoft Teams online lecture for the first time, we advise you read this step-by-step guide: [Online lecture guide]

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