CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


Chen Yijie
Chinese Art History Research in Japan and its Reception in 1920s: Illustrated by the case of Naito Konan and Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s literati painting viewpoints

Session 13 Transmission and Adoption

Peking University


In the beginning of 20th century, Konan Naito, Seigai Ōmura and some other Japanese scholars undertook a series of systematical researches on arranging Chinese art history which brought many direct and indirect effects on Japanese and Chinese artistic amateurs and collectors. To investigate such impression of those amateurs who saw Chinese orthodox literati painting for the first time and studied from Naito’s new literati painting theory, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa is a good beginning-point. As an amateur, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa spent a lot of time on reading newly published painting albums and Chinese art theory books, attending exhibitions and writing a range of novels, commentaries and articles on the related topic. In his novel Autumn Mountain, it is easy to have a sight of how a Japanese amateur understand and respond to Naito’s “Nanga” theory, and the differences between specialists and amateurs in understanding Chinese arts. This essay wants to analysis Akutagawa’s confusion on Chinese literati painting evaluation criteria, prove that although Naito’s Chinese art history theory initiated a literati painting fashion, there was a gap of understanding between specialists and many amateurs.

Chen Yijie

Chen Yijie is now a MA student at Department of Art History, Peking University. She has earned her Bachelor’s degree in art history at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 2011 and has been a visiting research student on East Asian art history at the University of Tokyo from 2011 to 2013. In Japan, she has joined a field research program of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, “Tanino Buncho school's Funpon and Mohon”.In September 2015, she presented a paper about the Japanese frame of reference in James Cahill’s Chinese art history research works at the James Cahill memorial youth forum hosted by China Academy of Art (CAA). As the top student of art history at PKU, she has been awarded with Dashihang Scholarship, May Fourth Scholarship, Academic Excellence Award and other honors. Her research focuses on how foreign people understand and respond to Chinese paintings. She has been enrolled into the Ecole du Louvre International Program in the summer of 2016, aiming to investigate international reception issues. Currently, Yijie is interested in the way how Japan influenced the Chinese painter and scholar, Fu Baoshi, in the 1930s.