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Keynote Address by Wu Hung

Wu Hung

The Art and Materiality symposium opens with the keynote at the US-China Forum by esteemed art historian and The Allure of Matter co-curator Wu Hung.

FREE, but space is limited. Please register in advance. 


Wu Hung is the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and the College, Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia, Adjunct Curator at the Smart Museum of Art, and Special Advisor to the Provost for the Arts in Asia at the University of Chicago. As a scholar, he has published widely on both traditional and contemporary Chinese art and has experimented with different ways to integrate these conventionally separate phases into new kinds of art historical narratives.

He is also a renowned international curator and has curated more than 50 exhibitions in the United States, China, and other countries. Most recently, he organized The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China, a major touring exhibition that will be presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (summer 2019), Smart Museum and Wrightwood 659 (winter 2020), Seattle Art Museum (summer 2020), and Peabody-Essex Museum (Fall 2020). The exhibition is the latest in a series of contemporary Chinese projects he organized as a consulting curator at the Smart Museum, including Transience (1999), ‘Canceled’ (2000), The Art of Mu Xin: Landscape Paintings and Prison Notes (2002), Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (2004), Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art (2008), and Inspired by the Opera: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Video (2014).

He received the College Art Association’s 2018 Distinguished Scholar award and, in spring 2019, he delivered the 68th Annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD in art history and anthropology from Harvard University and an MA from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.

The US-China Forum is sponsored by the China-United States Exchange Foundation. Each year, the Forum brings together renowned experts from the University of Chicago and China for high-level engagements focused on issues of importance to both countries and, by extension, the world. It is co-organized by UChicago Global and UChicago Arts in collaboration with the Smart Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China.

The Art and Materiality symposium is presented by the Smart Museum of Art together with the Center for the Art of East Asia in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. Principal support for the symposium has been provided by Alphawood Foundation Chicago. Additional support is provided by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago with generous support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.