Skip to Main Content

The Sixty-Eighth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts: End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time, Part 2: Reconfiguring the World: The First Emperor’s Art Projects

Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, University of Chicago. In the six-part lecture series End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time, Wu Hung explores the narratives of Chinese art and their relationship to artistic production while reflecting on a series of questions: How did dynastic time emerge and permeate writings on traditional Chinese art? How did it enrich and redefine itself in specific historical contexts? How did it interact with temporalities in different historical, religious, and political systems? How did narratives based on dynastic time respond to and inspire artistic creation? In the second lecture, “Reconfiguring the World: The First Emperor’s Art Projects,” delivered on April 7, 2019, Wu Hung introduces an alternative “dynastic history” of art that emerged in the fourth century BCE, and then explores the relationship of the First Emperor’s various art projects, including the legendary Twelve Golden Men and the sculptures in his Lishan Necropolis, to this historic narrative.