Xin WU (WU Xin 吴欣), assistant professor of art & art history at The College of William & Mary, researches the history of representation of nature in East Asia (2D & 3D), and global contemporary environmental art and landscape architecture. Recent publications includes academy landscape and gardens in ancient China (Song to Qing dynasties, 10th-19th centuries) and the environmental art of Patricia Johanson (1958-the present).Curriculum Vitae
I have published books and articles in English and Chinese, hosted two academic columns, and lectured in Europe, America and China. My newest book--Patricia Johanson and the Reinvention of Public Environmental Art, 1958-2010 (2013)--addresses the issue of translation between visual arts and landscape design, confronting a crucial question in the history of art through the work of a post-WWII artist. Other books include: The New Art of Landscape: Conversations between Xin Wu and Contemporary Designers 景觀啓示錄—吳欣當代設計師訪談 (2012), and Reconstruction of Modernity: Patricia Johanson's House & Garden Commission, 1969 (2008). My articles on Chinese landscape art from Song to Qing dynasties have appeared in anthologies: Interlacing of Words and Things: Beyond Nature and Culture (2012), Contemporary Garden Aesthetics, Creations and Interpretations (2007), Frontier of Environment Aesthetics 環境美學前沿 (2008); and in academic journals: Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes, Die Gartenkunst, Landscape Frontier.
The subject matter of my scholarly inquiry is landscape, including its 2-dimensional representation through paintings, drawings and prints, and its 3-dimensional representation through gardens, environmental art and landscape architecture. The theme of landscape frames my research interest, enabling me to bridge the seemingly poles apart domains of historical inquiry and contemporary criticism, garden history and environmental art, cultural identity and global environment, interpretation and practice, East and West. Focusing on China and East Asia (including transpacific and Eurasia exchanges), my research on landscape evolve along three strands—the representation of nature, the process of creation, and the encounter of visual cultures. Firstly, I study representation of nature as the cultural engagement with nature, which could be expressed in both pictorial depictions and designed spaces, such as gardens. Secondly, I study processes of creation as the prolonged artistic search leading to formation of new visual languages, including reflection, experimentation and production of artworks. Thirdly, I study encounters of visual cultures between different regions or social groups, between the historical and the contemporary, between different media and practices.
Following previous teaching experiences in British and Chinese universities, I have returned to full-time teaching of the history of East Asian art and environmental art in the US. My familiarity to East-West cultures and multiple disciplines, and my engagement with international discourses in multiple fields, enhances the pedagogical communication with diverse student bodies with global perspectives, both in the US and in China. From 2002-2009, I worked at Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks research center, as the Coordinator of Asian Program and Assistant Curator of Contemporary Landscape Design Collection.
Through this site, I would like to keep you, and all the friends worldwide with whom I have made acquaintances and collaborated with over the years, up-to-date of my development. In particular, I want to express my gratitude to those who have inspired, encouraged and befriended me, and remain supportive to my new endeavour.