An Eastern Gaze: Seeing ‘Africa’ and Reconsidering ‘African Art’ from a Chinese Perspective ⎻ Xi Jin (Titi)

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1418 Van Hise Hall
@ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

ACS Work-in-Progress series

Speaker: Xi Jin (Titi) ⎻ Graduate Student, African Cultural Studies

Chinese collectors, museum curators, and art scholars have shown increasing interest in African art within the context of the closer Sino-Africa relationship. Amidst the controversies surrounding African collections in European and North American museums, the voices advocating for the restitution of African cultural artifacts to the continent have not disrupted African art exhibitions in China. My presentation will delve into the interconnections between China and Africa in the artistic domain since the 1960s and shed light on the historical pathways of African artifacts exhibited in two prominent Chinese museums. The involvement of Chinese collectors and artists with “African art” serves as a testament to the creation of evolving narratives and portrayals of Africa within a Chinese context. Through the introduction of the work of contemporary Nigerian artist Obiora Udechukwu, my presentation also seeks to promote a deeper South-South dialogue in the art domain. For Chinese museum professionals aspiring to establish a more equitable representation of African art and foster a more enriching dialogue between African and Chinese artistic traditions, it becomes essential to heed the voices of African artists—an imperative that should neither be disregarded nor undermined.