CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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


WU Xueshan
Through Media: Construction of Modern Image of ‘Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li

Session 18 Media and Visuality

Minzu University of China


    As a symbol of the national character of the Chinese race since the 1930s, the “Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li ( Li is a Chinese unit of length approximately equivalent to 0.3 mile)”, more commonly known as the Great Wall of China to the west, has been epitomized by its Badaling section ever since the early 20th century. The Badaling Great Wall has gained control over contemporary people’s perception of the magnificent relics, while the Wall itself evolving into a concept beyond physical entity in the understanding of modern people. Such a control of perception, with its origin dating back to the mid-19th century, was realized thanks to the invention of modern duplication technology and the intervention of mass media.The media here seemed to have created a new perception based on a pre-assumed conception. Thats why the small Badaling section in visual media finally became synecdoche of the ten-thousand-li long Great Wall.


WU Xueshan 

   Wu Xueshan received his bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees from the Department of Art History, Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is currently Associate Professor at Central Academy of Fine Arts. His research interests lie in Chinese art history. He has published Collection of Wu Xueshan’s studies of Chinese Art History (Beijing: China Minzu University Press, 2009) and Zhang Zeduan’s Qingming Shanghe Tu (Beijing: Cultural Relics Press, 2009).