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Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MALS: Interdisciplinary Studies

Directing Professor

Jenine Culligan


A trip to exhibition Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World in Guggenheim in 2018 was the impetus for this essay: where is Chinese contemporary art in American museums? As a Chinese now studying in America, this question led the author back to review the art history of China and ponder the status quo of Chinese artworks in Chinese and American museums. This paper is a primer for those not familiar with basic Western and Eastern modernist art history and posits some of the historical and political reasons why modernist and contemporary Chinese art did not have similar linear progress as artistic styles in the West. To make sure the authenticity of the information in this paper, the author researched materials in English and Chinese when it discusses facts related to historical events and artists. For instance, as the most meaningful art event in Chinese contemporary art history, there is not much news about Starts Artwork Exhibition in English, but in Chinese. In this paper, the Chinese art websites and critical art reviews do support not only the presentation of Chinese art events, but also the real situation of Chinese artists and American artists’ impact in China, such as Xi Qi, and Andy Warhol. Due to the historical, political, and cultural backgrounds, it is hard to diminish the gap between different countries. However, museums can facilitate cooperation between countries and provide a broader prospect to audiences.