Edited by Foong Ping and Chelsea Foxwell
As multi-functional as they are artistically important, folding and standing screens assume a variety of roles unique to the cultures of East Asia. Frequently used in dwellings, temples, and tombs, East Asian screens have a rich history from ancient times up to the modern period, and yet they rarely have been examined as an art form in themselves. This volume of essays makes the art of screens its focus of inquiry. Originally written for the Center for the Art of East Asia’s 2011 symposium, “The Screen in East Asia and Beyond,” these nine essays take a fresh look at the complexity of this traditional art form by presenting the most recent art historical research and analysis of archaeological evidence. Starting from Bronze Age China, the essays address the historic use of screens in East Asia, the materials used in their creation, and the significance of their artistic content. The essays explore a variety of philosophical, religious, political, aesthetic, and gender issues related to the production of the screens. These scholarly studies are suitable for serious students and can also be appreciated by a broad range of art audiences.