CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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From Nobody to Somebody: Agents, Commodity and the Making of Qi Baishi ’s (1864-1957) Art

Session 16 Commodity and Market


This paper places Qi Baishi within the proper cultural context to clarify his position on two levels. The first is the artistic network and patronage he enjoyed, which he had to satisfy in return; the second is the transformation of Qi Baishi’s price list over the period covered by his time, as this material played a key role in shaping his art and promoting his career. Besides attempting an analysis of Qi’s visual language, this study examines Qi Baishi’s art career through the eyes of an artist and his art agents, friends, patrons or collectors, as this approach can more efficiently enrich our knowledge of the complex interactions between the artist and his cultural context. It is divided into three sections, Why Qi Baishi, from nobody to somebody and a conclusion.