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A Tale of Two Cities

A Conversation with Artist Wang Qingsong, Prof. Tang Xiaobing and Dr. Jeffrey Javed
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
4:15-6:00 PM
Willis Ward Lounge--Located in the first floor of the Michigan Union, just inside the main entrance Michigan Union Map
Inspired by a drawing (see attached) created by Chinese realist painter Wang Shikuo (1911-1973), LRCCS distinguished artist Wang Qingsong will recreate the image as a photo shoot with a host of community and university volunteers at Highland Park on February 17th. The following week on February 21, Prof. Tang Xiaobing, Helmut F. Stern Professor of Modern Chinese Studies and Comparative Literature, with LRCCS Postodoctoral Fellow Jeffrey Javed will engage in a conversation with the artist on the staging, meaning and historical background of the work. Prof. Tang's latest book "Visual Culture in Contemporary China: Paradigms and Shifts", Cambridge University Press, 2015., discusses "The Bloodstained Shirt" in detail. Dr. Javed will highlight the political and social dynamics of mass violence in the early Maoist period.

Wang Qingsong's exhibit, "Between Past and Future: Wang Qingsong 1999-2006" has been extended through February 23 and will be the site of the artist/faculty conversation on Feb. 21

In the neighborhoods of Detroit, extensive vacancy and abandonment have led to new ways that people remake disinvested space—ruins voyeurism gives way to residents, artists, and entrepreneurs curating spaces in their own vision and as template for the future of the city. By comparing Beijing and Detroit, Qingsong seeks to mix these two cities’ stories together, creating a new overtone for the ongoing challenges of global societies. This project contributes to the hope for another narrative to city building, one that uncovers traces of the past, its erasures and demolitions, while engaging with the community through artistic practice to construct a new, vibrant vision for urban regeneration.

WANG Qingsong is an artist, educator and curator based in Beijing whose large format photographic works have been exhibited across the globe at major museums, art centers, and galleries He has created a series of works showing the history of once glorious cities-the lost memories found behind broken walls, deserted warehouses and closed doors. Just as Beijing, an ancient city brimming with history and tradition, has experienced the disruption and destruction of rapid modernism, so Qingsong finds Detroit grappling with a similar history as it reconfigures itself for the future.

With support from U-M International Institute, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, Taubman College, Living Arts, LSA Residential College, Screen Arts & Cultures, Museum of Art (UMMA), Center for Educational Outreach, U-M Detroit Center, Focus Hope-Detroit, College for Creative Studies-Detroit.
Building: Michigan Union
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Chinese Studies, Visual Arts
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures