Exercise 1: Analytic and Application based exercise
? Graduate Capabilities: This exercise encapsulates the following graduate capabilities: ?Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills? (capability no. 1), ?Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking? (capability no. 2), ?Creative and Innovative? (capability no. 4), and ?Effective Communication? (capability no. 5). Students integrate these capabilities as they apply the discipline knowledge to analyse and critically evaluate the meanings and the ethical implications generated by a specific visual text.
? About this exercise: This exercise is designed to help you learn to not only analyse visual images but to apply the concept of transculture, you have learnt in this lecture, to a particular image. Feedback for this exercise will be given in the form of comments when you have handed this in as part of your assessment.
Step 1:
Below is an image created by a modern and famous Chinese-Australian artist called John Young (who was born in Hong Kong and then immigrated as a child with his family to Australia).

John Young: ‘Nest (Version II)’ 2003
Digital Scan & Oil on Linen
Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin/Beijing
Image from: http://www.artnet.com/artist/27923/john-young.html
In Nicole?s Notes you were given some basic background information about traditional Chinese painting. This information was provided for you to help you analyse the image above by painter John Young.
? In the textbox below, in no more than 1 page (30 lines), analyse the ?operation of transculturation? that is taking place in this painting. You can use bullet points in the same way that Anne Cranny-Francis did throughout the lecture. However, please interpret in detail what the various cultural references and techniques in the image mean, or what you think they mean.
? Look at things like: the juxtaposition of techniques and images, colours, the images meanings for China and Australia, the size and shape of the painting. How might these things help you think about the ?operation of transculturation? going on in the painting?
Step 2:
Copy and paste your thoughts into the ?Notes? facility so that you can compile them for your assessment. Alternatively, you can copy your exercise into a Word document (if you do this, make a folder and label it and place your word document in it, so that it is easy to find when it comes to emailing your exercises for assessment.)

TUTORS’s Notes
The following information comes from ?A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilisation?, prepared by Patricia Buckley Ebrey, and found at:
http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/index.htm
Chinese Landscape Painting
In China painting as an art form reached a very high standard of quality during the Song dynasty (960?1279), which is considered by many to be a high point in the development of the fine arts in China. Landscape themes began to dominate painting during this period, and would continue to be a favourite subject of artists up into the modern period.
The Song Dynasty witnessed a gradual shift in painting subject matter in favor of landscapes. In earlier dynasties landscapes were more often the settings for human dramas than primary subject matter. During the tenth and eleventh centuries, several landscape painters of great skill and renown produced large-scale landscape paintings, which are today considered some of the greatest artistic monuments in the history of Chinese visual culture.
These landscape paintings usually centered on mountains. Mountains had long been seen as sacred places in China: the homes of immortals, close to the heavens. Philosophical interest in nature could also have contributed to the rise of landscape painting, including both the Daoist focus on how minor the human presence is in the vastness of the cosmos, and Neo-Confucian interest in the patterns or principles that underlie all phenomena, natural and social.
The essays that have been left by a handful of prominent landscape painters of this period indicate that pictures of mountains and water (shan shui, the literal translation of the Chinese term for landscape) were heavily invested with the numinous qualities of the natural world. Landscape paintings allowed viewers to travel in their imaginations, perhaps the natural antidote to urban or official life.
Landscape painting was not entirely new to the Song Dynasty. Most of the landscapes painted during the Tang Dynasty, such as the one below, were executed in blue and green mineral-based pigments, which gave the painting surface a jewel-like quality.

‘In the manner of Li Zhaodao (first half of the 8th c.), Ming Huang’s Journey to Shu’
Jin Weinuo, ed., Zhongguo meishu quanji, Huihua bian 2: Sui Tang Wu Dai de huihua
(Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1984), pl. 15, p. 33.
Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
Image from: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/painting/4ptgintr.htm

These landscapes were often meant to represent Daoist paradises – the western mountains where the Queen Mother of the West resided, or the legendary Islands of the Immortals, thought to be located in the eastern seas. Towering peaks and barely traversable mountain passes led to sacred areas where Daoist adepts practiced alchemical modification of the body and meditation that led to a prolonged life.
Northern Song Landscape
At first glance, Song and Yuan landscapes seem to conform to a narrow set of compositional types, with requisite central mountains, hidden temples, and scholars strolling along a path. In fact, the landscape tradition developed slowly as painters gained technical facility and consciously chose to allude to earlier styles or bring out philosophical or political ideas in their work.
Fan Kuan (early 11th c.), Travelers Among Mountains and Streams
Fu Xinian, ed., Zhongguo meishu quanji, Huihua bian 3: Liang Song huihua, shang
(Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1988), pl. 7, p. 9.
Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
Image from: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/painting/4ptgintr.htm

Fan Kuan’s Travelers Among Mountains and Streams (above) and nearly seven feet tall, focuses on a central majestic mountain. The foreground, presented at eye level, is executed in crisp, well-defined brush strokes. Jutting boulders, tough scrub trees, a mule train on the road, and a temple in the forest on the cliff are all vividly depicted. Other aspects that evoke Daoist ideas to many viewers are the dwarfing of the men by the enormity of nature and the water and mist that evoke the vital energies of the earth and ideas of yin and yang.
Painting techniques
Chinese painting uses water-based inks and pigments on either paper or silk grounds. Black ink comes from lampblack, a substance made by burning pine resins or tung oil; colored pigments are derived from vegetable and mineral materials. Both are manufactured by mixing the pigment source with a glue base, which is then pressed into cake or stick form; using a special stone, the artist must grind the ink back into a watery solution immediately before painting.
The brush used for painting is very similar to the one used for calligraphy, but there is greater variety in the shapes and resilience of brushes used in painting.
The two different types of painting surfaces, silk and paper, both require sizing, or treatment with a glue-like substance on their uppermost surface, to prevent ink and pigment from soaking into and being completely absorbed by the ground. Silk remains less porous than paper, and is somewhat water-resistant, especially after sizing. As a result, applying paint to a silk surface requires more painstaking techniques, building up ink and colors carefully and gradually in layers. Paper, in contrast, is more absorbent and is favored for spontaneous effects.