An Album of Works by Pan Gongshou in the Mactaggart Collection, University of Alberta

  • Chinese Ink Wash Painting

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This study considers virtuality in ink wash paintings with a focus on two late, Qing dynasty works from an album by Pan Gongshou (c. 1790). We examine the painterly devices by which a liminal, virtual, “as if” space is constructed as a “realm” or world in which the viewer is synaesthetically absorbed. Drawing on previous studies of spatiality, and on Callois and Turner, we theorize this spatialization of nature as psychanaesthetic and liminoid. Landscape in this tradition is not a pure creation of the human gaze, nor a representation of material elements and topography, but rather a synthesis of representations of the material world with a virtual “realm without self” as proposed by Wang Guowei (1877-1927 CE). Virtualities are intangible but “as if” real. They supplement and interrogate the material elements that are explicitly represented. They change the meaning or sense of what is represented and they create affective qualities and a sense of the passage of time that interpellates the body and mind of viewers, ‘bringing them into’ the painting.

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Poster
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International