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EAST ASIAN HISTORIAN TO DISCUSS DAOIST PAINTING IN QING DYNASTY ON NOVEMBER 7 AT BARD COLLEGE

Darren O'Sullivan
845-758-7649
osulliva@bard.edu
10-17-2002

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard in China will present a talk by Xun Liu, an East Asian historian from Harvard University, on Thursday, November 7. His talk, "Visualized Perfection: Daoist Painting, Court Patronage, Monastic Expansion, and Female Piety in Late Qing (1862–1908)," is supported by funding from the Freeman Foundation. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at 5:30 p.m. in Room 115 of the Olin Language Center.

Liu's talk will focus on a late Qing Daoist serial painting that was published in an album in China in 1995. Exquisitely drawn in colors and later mounted in hanging scrolls, this remarkable set of 22 plates provides a dramatic visual journey of ascension through a Daoist meditative practice known as inner alchemy by Bixia Yuanjun, a folk goddess popularly known in North China as Our Lady. Commissioned in 1890, the painting depicts Our Lady in a startlingly new light as a scriptural authority in contrast to a goddess of fertility—the image familiar to millions of devotees since the 15th century. What brought this drastic shift in Our Lady's image? How and why was this painting produced? Who could be its audience? These are some of the issues Liu will explore in his illustrated talk.

Xun Liu is an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University. His areas of specialty include Chinese cultural history, East Asian religions, and the history of Chinese medicine. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California; an M.A. from California State University, Long Beach; and a B.A. from Huazhong Normal University.

For further information about the lecture or Bard in China, call 845-758-7388 or e-mail gould@bard.edu.

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(9.30.02)

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This event was last updated on 10-25-2002