Spring 2024 Course Highlight | Theater and Religion in Chinese Art

Professor Yuhang Li will be teaching ART HIST 576/876: Theater and Religion in Chinese Art TR 5:00–7:30pm. Humanities Breadth | L&S Credit | Instructor Consent Required. Email Professor Li for consent to enroll at: yuhang@wisc.eduDescription: Theater and religions are inseparable throughout Chinese History. Theatrical performance is often used as a type of offering in ritual practices by different religions; streets, rivers, or open grounds in front of temples are built into temporary spaces for theatrical performances as part of religious and non-religious festivals and ceremonies; religious drama is also an effective medium for transmitting doctrines and spreading cults. The temporary spectacles were further materialized through a wide range of art objects such as murals, sculptures, scroll paintings, prints, ceramics, architectural deco, furniture, garments, tapestries, etc. This course examines the intersection of performance, religion and different types of “spectacles constructed by artworks. In particular, this course addresses how theatricality, religiosity and spectacle-making projects combined as a powerful method to facilitate the construction of political site, collective and individual salvation in early modern China.