The first moving-image lecture series devoted to a major tradition in world art is coming alive online, and in high definition. The subject: 1500 years of Chinese pictorial art.
In 37 hours of audio-visual exploration into the history and details of treasured works now scattered across the globe, the series, “A Pure and Remote View,” presents thousands of Chinese paintings from the oldest known to those of the Song dynasty.
Conceived, written, and narrated by renowned University of California, Berkeley (UCB) art historian Professor James Cahill, this new online resource provides the first comprehensive narrative and unparalleled view of one of the world’s longest and most continuous pictorial art traditions.
Cahill, a recipient of Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Awards from the College Art Association for both writing and teaching on Chinese art, created “A Pure and Remote View,” to “fill a void in the field, the lack of a truly comprehensive narrative history of early Chinese landscape painting.”
“Chinese artists produced deeply moving and philosophically grounded paintings that rank, in my view, among the greatest works of man,” says Cahill, who was awarded the Charles Lang Freer Medal in Asian Art in 2010. “I feel compelled to open this tremendous artistic achievement to a wider audience by making it the subject of the newest revolution in education: high definition multimedia lectures, freely available anytime, anywhere, for anyone.”
This not-for-profit lecture project is the fruit of an on-going effort by Professor Cahill, UCB’s Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), the Tang Research Foundation, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, and multimedia producer Chatterbox Productions.
Chatterbox is making “A Pure and Remote View” available initially in 720P widescreen high definition YouTube video to scholars, students, and the public on the IEAS website. In addition, IEAS is planning to release the lectures with additional research materials on DVD or BluRay disk, the latter of which would allow distribution at the full 1080P resolution of the production.
To experience A Pure and Remote View, visit the IEAS website page at ieas.berkeley.edu/publications/aparv.html. The first 26 hours of the series, in 16 separate lectures plus a 1-minute trailer and 15-minute sample reel, are currently available. The release of the remaining 10 lectures in the series is expected by early December.
The lectures can also be viewed from James Cahill’s website at http://www.jamescahill.info.