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Title: Fostering Communal Identities: Communitarian Artistic Projects in Local Communities of Premodern China
Authors: Junfu Wong
Keywords: China
Issue Date: Jun-2019
Publisher: CEACT/UAL
Abstract: China regional communities have a long history of fostering social interactions through artistic practices. During the fifth and sixth centuries, individuals in local communities were bonded to the greater collectives by participating in artistic projects of establishing stone stelae. Communal practices and liturgies were carried out around the stelae, that forged a platform enabling community members who belonged to different ethnic and social groups to collaborate. Both texts and icons inscribed on the stelae revealed a vivid picture of this artistic performance in local communities. By reviewing them, this paper reveals the ways this artistic practice of stele erection can help create the integrity of the community. It starts by setting out all the procedures required for establishing the stelae. It then unveils the symbolic function of the visual images on stelae that unified transcultural and transregional identities. Such an enquiry into the local communities in premodern period shows that art as a medium has a protracted history in unifying communities, reconciliating ethnic tensions, demarcating boundaries of identities and territories.
Peer Reviewed: no
ISSN: 2182-4339
Appears in Collections:ESTUDO PRÉVIO - QUINZE [verão 2019]

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