Ghost Hero Art Companion Guide

Art by Li Kuchan, Ai Weiwei & Xin Song. See full information below.

Welcome to a very subjective list of resources for Chinese art history as well as Chinese and Chinese-American contemporary art.  This guide will accompany you as or after you read S. J. Rozan’s newest addition to her Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series, GHOST HERO, set in the contemporary art scene of New York City.

If you have only a slight acquaintance with Chinese art, as I did before I began this project, you might think of Ming vases, carved jade objects, paintings from nature with added calligraphy and those pottery figures standing guard in excavated trenches.  But with several thousand years of history, Chinese art is so much more, of course; complicated, fascinating, enlightening, beautiful and political.

I hope this guide will serve as an introduction that will lead you to visit museums, galleries and read more on the vast history of Chinese art. Thank you, and thanks to S.J. for allowing me to be among the first to read GHOST HERO and be inspired by her writing. – Hannah Swale

Some Basics

• Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History Timeline beginning with 8,000 B.C.:

• Freer Sackler Gallery – Learn about Chinese Dynasties: 

• Metropolitan Museum of Art – Chinese Painting Slideshow:

 • Metropolitan Museum of Art – Painting in Ink on Paper from China:

 • Chinese Brush Painting from Asia-Art Net:

 • Chinese Arts of the Brush from the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries:

 • On-line Museum Resources of Asian Art:

•  China Institute (NYC):

•  Asia Society Imperial Elegance Exhibit:

 • AW Asia Arts of China Consortium:

 • An article titled Journey to Asia: The Rockefeller family’s stunning sculpture, ceramics, bronzes and other works of art are on view at the Asia Society:

Contemporary Art:

 •  Chambers Fine Art:

 • Art Scene China:

 • New Chinese Art:

 • AW Asia:

 • AW Asia’s list by Artist of Chinese Contemporary Art in Museum Collections:

 • Museum of Chinese in America (NYC):

 • Article on why Chinese Art is Important to Collect:

 • CNN Article on Visual Arts in China:

 • May, 2011 Article on Qi Baishi’s “Peaceful World” Sets a $65 Million Record for a Chinese Painting at Auction:

Some of SJ’s favorite artists

Jin Nong: and

Luo Ping: and

Zhang Huan:

 Yang Yongliang:

 Ai WeiWei:

 Xin Song:

 Zhang Hongtu:

Xu Bing:

 Zhang Dali:

 Cai Guoqiang:

NYU Resource Guide to Chinese Art

Antique Chinese Porcelain Collector’s Page: 500+ pages on the history of and research on Chinese pottery and porcelain
The “Battle Copper Prints” of the Qianlong (1736-1795) Emperor, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin
Bibliography of Contemporary Chinese Art , including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and diaspora, compiled by Britta Erickson, 1998-1999
Bibliography of Photo-Albums and Materials Related to the History of Photography in China and Tibet before 1949, compiled by Thomas H. Hahn, Ithaca, NY
James Cahill (Professor Emeritus, University of California): “a repository of my (mostly unpublished, or hard-to-find) writings, to be read and downloaded”
The China Collection: research and licensing location devoted to contemporary Chinese art and culture, featuring the Hefner Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art
China Cultural Heritage Net, State Administration of Cultural Heritage
Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages WWW compiled by Stephan Landsberge
Classical Chinese Furniture
Collections of Chinese Painting, compiled by the Department of East Asian Art, Institute for Oriental Culture, and originally published in the multi-volume publication Comprehensive Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Paintings (First Series, 5 volumes, 1980; Second Series, 4 volumes, 2001); searchable by painter, subject, collection in English and Japanese
Digital Scrolling Paintings Project, Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago
Dunhuang Art through the Eyes of Duan Wenjie,” English translations of Duan Wenjie’s writings by Tan Chung (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi)
Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images: documentary photography on the themes of (1) Chinese modern art; (2) urbanization and architecture; (3) Daoist and/or Buddhist mountains, monasteries, and “theme parks”; (4) the city of Tianjin; (5) views of the cities Fuzhou and Yangzhou; (6) impressions of Tibet
Holmes Welch Collection, University of Wisconsin-Madison: religious themes and the Tianjin Collection
International Dunhuang Project, British Library, UK: image database of manuscripts; resources on the Silk Road; IDP News and other publications
Liang Sicheng Lin Huiyin, 2010 CCTV documentary directed by Hu Jingcao
Lienu zhuan: woodblock-printed volume made available on-line
“The Long March Project – A Walking Visual Display”: “The curatorial team along with two camera crews will accompany the trek of 100+ artists for four months documenting and archiving the experience. Local and international artists will join the team at different venues. Twenty historically, politically, and geographically significant locations have been carefully selected for exhibitions and lectures. Original artworks and secondary sources (slides, videos, exhibition catalogues) will be displayed.”
Merit, Opulence, and the Buddhist Networks of Wealth,” Northwestern University (Sarah Fraser, project director) and Dunhuang Research Academy: Dunhuang caves 196 and 285 in 3D
The Nianhua Gallery, James Flath (University of Western Ontario)
Rent Collection Courtyard: digital reproduction of a China Reconstructs 1967 supplement
Don Wagner (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen, Denmark): publications on Chinese science, technology, history, archaeology, and language
Xiangtangshan Caves Project, Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago


Photo Credits at top (from left to right):

Image 1:  Cormorants (detail) by Li Kuchan from:

Image 2:  Owl House by Ai Weiwei, 2010  from:

Image 3: Colonial by Xin Song from: