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Reviews 271 nized. This first publication, in which homosexuals speak out about themselves, should be understood as part ofa process that is developing as well in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The same publisher, Zhou Huashan, has brought out other books on homosexuals in Hong Kong1, and in Taiwan a new magazine, Re'ai zazhi ("G 'n' L" = Gays and Lesbians) began publication in summer 1996. The fact that the first "National" Meeting ofChinese homosexuals was held in Hong Kong in December 1996 is further evidence that an all-encompassing solidarity is beginning to form among Chinese homosexuals in the PRC, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Natascha Vittinghoff Heidelberg University Natascha Vittinghoffis a Ph.D. candidate atHeidelberg University involved in a research project on studies in the Chinesepublic sphere. NOTES1. Zhou Huashan, et al., Xianggang tongzhi zhanchulai (Hong Kong's homosexuals have stood up), Xianggang: Xianggang tongzhi yanjiushe, 1995; Zhou Huashan, Tongzhi lun (On homosexuals ), ibd., 1995; Zhou Huashan, Xianggang tongzhi gushi (Stories ofHong Kong's homosexuals ), ibd., 1996. Wu Hung. The Double Screen: Medium and Representation in Chinese Painting. Chicago: University ofChicago Press, 1996. 296 pp. Paperback $24.95, 1SBN 0-226-36074-1. Wu Hung is indeed a high-flying wizard {hung wu). Having just published his weightyvolume on Monumentality in Early ChineseArt andArchitecturein 1995, he has come out with this reasonably sized paperback in the following year. While both treat objects as represented in and representative oftheir culture, the approaches differ. Monumentality grew out ofand is shaped by a historical survey of early Chinese art. The Double Screen deals with a problem object, tripled in fact as an object, a painting medium, and a pictorial representation. This allows for a certain temporal flexibility, although increasingly complex conceptions and depictions diat occur in the later dynasties are discussed toward the end ofthe© 1998 by University book. Framed by an introduction on "The Screen" and a coda on "Metapictures" ofHawai'i Pressthat set up the theoretical supports, the body ofthe text covers traditional Chinese painting from the Han to the Qing. 272 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 The "diverse roles" of the screen are clearly pointed out in the introduction. In space, it defines place—ritual/political or private. As an art object, it is a pictorial ground, and it can compete for attention with natural surroundings when depicted in whole or in part. As a painted image, the screen can serve both to represent pictorial space and to supply visual metaphors of "poetic space" that add spatial and temporal dimensions to a scene. Here Wu refers to Roman Jakobson's distinction between the métonymie and die metaphoric as language devices: the former involving contiguity and sequence; the latter, similarity and substitution (p. 20). While a screen can play both roles in a painting, one is usually emphasized over the other. As metaphor, the imagery must be interpreted in its pictorial context. There it often comments on the main scene, particularly in the artistic game of a screen-within-a-screen within a screen. The focus of the first chapter is the handscroll "Night Entertainment of Han Xizai." Overlaid by myths and explanations about the decadent lifestyle of the Southern Tang minister Han, it is the most intriguing painting discussed in the book. A section titled "Breaking Textual Enclosures" treats stories in unofficial sources, as well as collectors' interpretations in the colophons that, along with Qing Qianlong's introductory warning, effectively frame the scroll. As for the painting itself, we are presumably dealing with a twelfth-century copy of a tenthcentury original that depicted scenes of revelry. The screens in the painting indicate the likely date and the probable academy affiliation of the artist. Han pictorial designs already use screens to define spatial depth and indicate both discontinuity and continuity—as in this scroll, where three screens separate four units. The viewing experience of the handscroll adds a temporal/spatial dimension here since the painting is inevitably read section by section in two directions, from beginning to end when being unrolled and backwards when being rolled up. Thus, what seems initially like a simple explanation of the handscroll format becomes in Wu's hands (literally—see...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 271-277
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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