Senior Lecturer in Asian Arts and Cultures
Academic Staff, SOAS China Institute
- Dr Pedith Chan
- Email address:
- Academic Support Hours:
- Term 1: Fridays 11-1; Term 2: Mondays 11-1
Pedith Chan received her MPhil in Chinese Art History from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and PhD in Art and Archaeology from SOAS. She served as an assistant curator of Chinese Fine Arts at the Hong Kong Museum of Art (1996-1999), where she organised exhibitions on modern and contemporary Chinese art. Before joining SOAS, she was an assistant professor of Cultural and Heritage Management at the City University of Hong Kong (2010-2015) and an assistant professor of Cultural Management in the Faculty of Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2016-2020). She was awarded the CAA-Getty scholar in 2019 and 2020. Her research interests focus on the production and consumption of art and cultural heritage in modern and contemporary China with focus on the discourse of guohua and ink art. Her book The Making of a Modern Art World: Institutionalisation and Legitimisation of Guohua in Republican Shanghai (Leiden: Brill, 2017) adopts sociological approach to reconstruct the institutional structure and hierarchy of the Shanghai art world, examining the discursive practices and the process of institutionalisation of guohua in Republican China. Recently, she has contributed to two exhibitions, namely Hong Kong Impressions at the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Embracing Sites/ Sights at the National Palace Museum, Taipei. These projects offer new perspective to contextualise landscape painting, looking at how modern tourism, landscape preference, aesthetics, and perception of landscape shaped artists’ ways of viewing scenic sites and interpretation of learning from nature in modern China. She is currently researching the making of scenic sites in modern China, exploring the correlation between site-specific landscape paintings, national identity and the discourse of tourism. With focus on the scenic sites in southeast China in the prewar period and the southwest landscapes during the Sino-Japanese war, the project examines how scenic mountains exercised agency on artists and how in return artists unlocked the aesthetic value of less known scenic attractions through their paintings. Her recent publications include “Hong Kong Impressions: Modern Tourism and the Visual Representations of the Hong Kong Landscape” (Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2020), “Learning from Nature: Modern Tourism and Site-Specific Landscape Painting” (National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2020), “Representation of Chinese Civilization: Exhibiting Chinese Art in Republican China,” (London: Routledge, 2018), and “In Search of the Southeast: Tourism, Nationalism, Scenic Landscape in Republican China,” (Twentieth-Century China, 2018).