Transition and Transformation: Chinese Contemporary Art and the Value of Dissidence

  • Author / Creator
    Leduc, Marie D
  • Taking an interdisciplinary approach combining sociology and art history, this dissertation considers the phenomenal rise of Chinese contemporary art in the global art market since 1989. The dissertation explores how Western perceptions of difference and dissidence have contributed to the recognition and validation of Chinese contemporary art. Guided by Nathalie Heinich’s sociology of values and Pierre Bourdieu’s work on the field of cultural production, the dissertation proposes that dissidence may be understood as an artistic value, one that distinguishes artists and artwork as singular and original. Following the careers of nine Chinese artists who moved to France in and around 1989, the dissertation demonstrates how perceptions of dissidence – artistic, cultural, and political – have distinguished Chinese artists as they have transitioned into an artistic field dominated by Western liberal-democratic values and artistic taste. The transition and transformation of Chinese contemporary art and artists then highlights how the valorization of dissidence in the West is both artistic and political, and significant to the production of contemporary art.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Visual Art and Globalization
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Hill, Katie (Sotheby's Institute of Art, London)
    • Davis, Walter (Art and Design)
    • Harris, Steven (Art and Design)
    • Le, Elisabeth (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Westerman, Richard (Sociology)
    • Dorow, Sara (Sociology)