In the first exploration of Chinese paintings as both material products
and pictorial representations, The Double Screen shows how the
collaboration and tension between material form and image gives life to
a painting. A Chinese painting is often reduced to the image it bears;
its material form is dismissed; its intimate connection with social
activities and cultural conventions neglected.
A screen occupies a space and divides it, supplies an ideal surface for
painting, and has been a favorite pictorial image in Chinese art since
antiquity. Wu Hung undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the screen,
which can be an object, an art medium, a pictorial motif, or all three
at once. With its diverse roles, the screen has provided Chinese
painters with endless opportunities to reinvent their art.
The Double Screen provides a powerful non-Western perspective on
issues from portraiture and pictorial narrative to voyeurism,
masquerade, and political rhetoric. It will be invaluable to anyone
interested in the history of art and Asian studies.