The essays in this volume address a diverse range of issues in China’s narrative art and visual culture mainly from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) to the present. These studies attend to the complex ways in which images circulate in pictorial media and across boundaries between ‘high art’ and popular culture—images in paintings, prints, stone engravings and posters, as well as in film and video art. In addition, the authors examine the roles of ancient exemplary stories and textual narratives, as well as their reiteration in the visual arts in early modern and modern social and political contexts.
The volume is divided into three sections, Representing Paradigms, Interpreting Literary Themes and Narratives, and the Medium and Modernity. While the essays in each section deal with concerns in the field of China’s art history, an editors’ introduction serves to position the topic of narrative art and to introduce definitions and genre issues which run through the book. As a whole, the volume invites reflection on the intrinsic nature of narratives and their pictorial lives, and presents new research which challenges established views and paradigms.