Art History Department

Gary Wang



Supervisor:  Jenny Purtle

Areas of Academic Interest
  • Art and visual culture of late-19th and early-20th century China
  • Chinese popular press and print capitalism
  • Gender, dress, film and material culture studies
  • Image-text-sound issues
  • History of Art History
  • Historiography of modern China
Current Research
  • My dissertation, “Modern Girls and Musclemen: Engendering Beauty in China’s ‘New Culture,’ 1917–1954,” examines the early-twentieth-century emergence of two gendered motifs in paintings, advertisements, pictorial magazines, and movies. The study considers how the relationship between these images and the neologism meishu (fine art) impacted pre-existing notions of mei (beauty), art, the body, and respectability. Other projects include “Manchuness and the Liangbatou, from Hairdo to Headpiece (1830s–1930s),” which historicizes the material evolution of a headdress worn by Manchu women that became increasingly conspicuous during the first decade of the 20th century. This was a period when anti-Manchu sentiment among Chinese intellectuals intensified and, in 1911, ended the Qing dynasty lineage of Manchu emperors who reigned in Beijing since conquering it in 1644.
  • MA Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, 2010
  • BFA Asian Studies/Visual Arts, University of British Columbia, 2005
Selected Publications
  • Review of Sporting Gender: Women, Athletes and Celebrity-Making during China’s National Crisis, 1931–45, by Gao Yunxiang.  Asian Women 30.2 (2014): 113–6.

  • “Making ‘Opposite-sex Love’ in Print: Discourse and Discord in Linglong Women’s Pictorial Magazine, 1931–1937,” Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 13.2 (2011): 244–347.

Recent Awards
  • Dr. David Chu Scholarship in Asia Pacific Studies
  • Jackman Junior Fellowship in the Humanities
  • Canada-China Scholars Exchange Scholarship
  • Fukien Chinese Association Award

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