The author argues that any understanding of Chinese painting must include discussion of its material forms as well as its intimate connection with cultural context and convention. Thus, The Double Screen offers a powerful non-western perspective on diverse artistic and cultural genres, from portraiture and pictorial narrative to voyeurism and masquerade, and will be invaluable to anyone interested in the history of art and Asian studies as well as to students and specialists in the field.
Wu Hung bolsters some of the new trends in Chinese art history that have been challenging the conventional ways of studying funerary art. Examining the interpretative methods themselves that guide the study of memorials, he argues that in order to understand Chinese tombs, one must not necessarily forget the individual works present in them—as the beautiful color plates here will prove—but consider them along with a host of other art-historical concepts. These include notions of visuality, viewership, space, analysis, function, and context. The result is a ground-breaking new assessment that demonstrates the amazing richness of one of the longest-running traditions in the whole of art history.