Life and Death

Art and the Body in Contemporary China

Silvia Fok

Life and Death

Silvia Fok

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

218 pages | 70 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2013
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841506265 Published December 2012 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe

For all their ubiquity, life and death have not been fully explored as integral themes in many forms of contemporary Chinese art. Life and Death addresses that lacuna. Exploring the strategies employed by a variety of Chinese artists who engage with these timeless concerns, Silvia Fok opens a new line of inquiry about contemporary art in a rapidly changing environment.
Fok focuses, in particular, on the ways in which these artists use their own bodies, animals’ bodies, and other corporeal substances to represent life and death in performance art, installations, and photography. Over the course of her investigations, corporeality emerges as a common means of highlighting the social and cultural issues that surround these themes. By assessing its effectiveness in the expression of life, death, and related ideas, Fok ultimately illuminates the extent to which we can see corporeality as a significant trend in the history of contemporary art in China. Her conclusions will fascinate scholars of performance and installation art, photography, and contemporary Chinese art.

List of Illustrations

1. Life, Death and the Body in Art in the PRC
2. The Role of the Body in Representing Death in Art: Simulation of Death versus Dying in the Name of Art versus Photography Documenting Dying and Death
3. Animal Body in Art
4. Corporeal Materials in Art
5. Transformative Roles of the Body in Art

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