Luring the Immortals: An American Artist’s Experiences in a Chinese Garden
Thursday, October 31, 4:30 PM
Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies
for info — 860-685-2330
Witness to the drama of burgeoning China and how it responds to, incorporates, and sometimes eclipses its past, Asian art historian and visual artist Ian Boyden (‘95) presents a talk about recent experiences as the first artist-in-residence in the Jia Yuan Garden, a 17th century classical garden in the heart of Suzhou, China. At the invitation of an investment arm of China Telecom, Boyden was the art consultant in the garden’s extensive renovation, an experience that provided an incredible stage upon which to witness and participate in the surreal clash of recasting and leveraging old-world culture according to new-world values. In this highly visual talk, Boyden contemplates multiple forms of acculturation: that of the often awkward and hilarious ways the Chinese made sense of him, of his own struggles making sense of the quickly shifting identity of China, and of the way his evolving knowledge of Chinese culture filters and informs his own art practice. His wild art trajectory in Suzhou included introducing the concept of a place-based artist residency, designing and overseeing the construction of a 4,700 sq ft art gallery, making a series of installations responding to the garden, and ultimately holding a solo exhibition at the I. M. Pei-designed Suzhou Museum where his ink paintings were hailed as starting a new tradition of Chinese painting.
Artist’s website: http://ianboyden.com/