SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Bob Dylan’s vision of Asia: What does the singer’s new art reveal about China’s image in American popular culture?

IMG - Bob Dylan’s vision of Asia
Duncan Bartlett (SOAS University of London)

Date: 24 May 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 May 2021Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar



Since winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016, the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has remained extremely active both as a performer and a painter. In 2021, he launched a new set of art works known as the Asia series of pictures. They include several images of China. This talk will consider what the art reveals about Bob Dylan and how it connects to his music. We’ll also examine the pictures through the lens of American popular culture.

Bob Dylan’s paintings are currently touring China as part of a blockbuster exhibition. In 2011, following criticism of his shows in Shanghai and Beijing, Dylan issued a denial that he censored his songs to avoid political trouble. During our discussion, we will therefore consider what political issues are raised by Dylan’s engagement with China.

About the speaker

Duncan Bartlett was a rock music journalist for the New Musical Express (NME). He has written about Bob Dylan for the Wall Street Journal and made programmes about his music for the BBC and ITN. As a current affairs journalist, he edits the monthly magazine Asian Affairs and hosts the weekly podcast China in Context made by SOAS China Institute, University of London where he works as a Research Associate.


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register.

* The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those who are unable to participate via Zoom. This webinar will also be recorded.

Chair: Professor Steve Tsang (Director, SOAS China Institute)

Organiser: SOAS China Insitute

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