History of Art and Architecture

Yijing Wang

Biography

Yijing Wang is a 2019-2020 Chancellor Doctoral Fellow and PhD Candidate in the Frick Department of History of Art and Architecture. His research addresses the conceptual and material dimensions of artists’ physical acts of inscribing in transcultural representations between East Asia, Europe, and the United States since the 1980s. Making new connections by intersecting fields of grammatology, cultural geography, ethnolinguistics, and theories of globalization, Wang is currently at work on his dissertation, “Inscribing Sinoscape: Script and Representation in Post-Mao Chinese Art, 1985-Present”, which examines how artists in post-Mao China deploy Chinese script in unconventional material forms and media to represent “China” in different geopolitical networks. Inscribing Sinoscape charts the ways in which generations of Chinese artists produced inscriptive surfaces, represented in concrete visual, material, and aesthetic terms from indigenous traditions as specific scripts, typographies, and their material carriers: talismans, steles, and Daoist trigrams. The dissertation traces the underground genesis of this art in the ’85 Art New Wave to its emergence in the global Conceptualism movement.

Drawing from an unusual array of archival sources, Wang’s dissertation challenges the conventional link between national identity and script, and aims to transform how Chinese script is perceived under contemporary conditions of new media technologies, interculturality, and global mobility. This first systematic investigation of a non-Western artistic phenomenon cuts across the usual China-West divide and puts its finger on the pulse of an ongoing supranational art circuit.

Wang’s research has been supported by the Marilyn A. Papp Foundation, the Dietrich School, and the Asian Studies Center. A case study on Xu Bing’s Landscript in his dissertation has been accepted for publication by Brill in an edited volume. He recently co-curated an exhibition, entitled “Chinese Apartment Art: Primary Documents from the Gao Minglu Archive, 1970s-90s” at the University Art Gallery. He gave a paper at the 106th Annual Conference of the College Art Association, entitled “The Face of Politics: Visualizing the Third World in Propaganda Posters of 1970’s China” within the section Art and the Cold War in East Asia: The Long 1970s. In addition to his dissertation, Wang is currently working on translating Gao Minglu’s manuscript on Western representationalism into English for publication under contract with Princeton University Press. 

Wang has a background working in museums, auction houses, and galleries. He has served as a curatorial research assistant for exhibitions in National Gallery of Art in Beijing and Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona. He was a junior specialist in Chinese works of art at China’s preeminent auction house, China Guardian, and before that he worked in New York at Kaikodo Gallery.

Education Details

PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, in progress

Selected Awards

The Marilyn A. Papp Graduate Scholarship for Study in Chinese Art and Culture, Marilyn and Roy Papp Foundation, 2015-2020.    

Dean’s Academic Year Travel Fund, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2018&2020.    

Dean’s Summer Research Fund, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2017&2020.   

Fellow, Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship in China Studies, Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh, 2019.

Dietrich Summer Research Grant, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2018&2019.       

Fellow, Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship in China Studies, Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh, 2015-2018.

Fellow, Dietrich Summer Research Fellowship for Graduate Studies, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2016.       

Rotary Club of Shanghai Past President Percy Chu Scholarship, 2010.

Selected Conferences

“Hybrid Authenticity: The Contemporary Afterlives of Chinese Script in Post-Mao China,” the 21st Annual Conference of the University of Colorado Boulder Asian Studies Graduate Association (CUBASGA), Boulder, Colorado, February 2020.

“The Allure of Nature: Aestheticizing Chinese Script in Xu Bing’s Landscript Paintings,” the 59th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC-AAS), Tampa, Florida, January 2020.

“Inscribing the Primitive: Archaic Script as Ethnography in the Art of Post-Mao China,” the 68th Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs Annual Meeting (MCAA), East Lansing, October 2019.

“Visuality in Motion: Translating the Liminality of Transcultural Space in Neon Calligraphy,” the New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS), New Paltz, October 2019.

“The Face of Politics: Visualizing the Third World in Propaganda Posters of 1970’s China” within the section Art and the Cold War in East Asia: The Long 1970s, the 106th Annual Conference of the College Art Association (CAA), Los Angeles, February 2018.

“Didactic Mirrors: Mirror-headed Imagery in Japanese Woodblock Prints,” Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (WCAAS), Tempe, Arizona, 2014.

“Unrolling the Scrolls: Chinese Painting in Context,” Phoenix Art Museum and Asian Arts Council Chinese Painting Program, Phoenix, Arizona, 2013.

Selected Exhibitions

“Chinese Apartment Art: Primary Documents from the Gao Minglu Archive, 1970s-90s”, University of Pittsburgh University Art Gallery, November 2017. (Co-curated with Madeline Eschenburg, Ellen Larson, Marina Tyquiengco, Zhen Wang, and Sandi Ward)