Lecture & Dinner: “Painting a snake and adding some feet” – Rethinking Qiu Ying’s copying practice with Dr. Yeewan Koon
The HKU Museum Society is delighted to co-present this very special lecture and dinner at the residence of David Pong, Vice Chairperson of The Ink Society.
Qiu Ying, now much admired, was not always praised for his detailed style paintings. His critics have accused him of copying too much or for over-embellishment: “painting a snake and adding some feet.” This criticism deserves greater scrutiny given that in Chinese art we often emphasize the importance of copying as a form of learning and emulation as a measurement of artistic achievement. So what does it mean when a masterful artist is accused of over-copying? This lecture will tackle this question through close readings of some of Qiu’s famous works and propose that Qiu’s citation of past masters sometimes had less to do with emulation of masters, and more a method of creating a narrative that drew on the copied image’s status of being a version of the original. By examining this aspect of Qiu Ying’s copying practice – a form of self-knowing conceit of the copy – the speaker Dr. Yeewan Koon will be throwing light on how the knowledge of painting was shifting in Ming China.
Jointly presented with The Ink Society.
Dr. Yeewan Koon is associate professor at the University of Hong Kong. She has published numerous works including A Defiant Brush: Su Renshan and the Politics of Painting in 19th Century Guangdong, which examines how an iconoclastic artist responded to the violence of the Opium War. She has two new research projects: An analysis of the conceit of a copy in Ming China and the making of Canton as an imagined site in the eighteenth century. She is the recipient of several international research awards including fellowships from American Council of Learned Studies, Cambridge University (UK) and Columbia University (NYC).