How does an art historical method allow us to begin to see a painting from an entirely different time and place? Taking One Hundred Children at Play, a seventeenth-century Chinese painting, as an example, we will think about the many different ways of seeing and understanding images. From iconographic explanations to feminist interpretations, from psychological questions to social histories, we will try to understand what One Hundred Children at Play has to tell us from as many perspectives as possible.
Prof. Michael J. Hatch teaches the history of East Asian art. He specializes in research on the history of Chinese painting from the 18th century to the 21st century, with interests in: theories of painting, concepts of modernity, the historiography of painting, contemporary Chinese art, and inter-material relationships between painting and other visual cultures.
His current research takes the work of the literati painter Qian Du (1764–1844) as a case study in order to argue that the senses of touch, hearing, and smell were central to the processes of appreciating literati painting in China, and that throughout the history of literati painting in China, from 1100-1900, there existed a sensuous mode of viewing that complimented more blatantly intellectual ways of appreciating painting. Prof. Hatch is also pursuing a second research topic on ideas of linearity and brushwork in early modern and modern Chinese painting.
Prof. Hatch also has background experience in museums, auction houses, and galleries. In 2012 he curated a show titled “Qian Du (1764–1844) and Style in Qing Dynasty Landscape Painting” at the Princeton University Art Museum. He has written arts criticism for The Brooklyn Rail, Artforum International, Artforum.com, and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. From 2006 to 2008 he lived in Beijing, where he was a client relations officer at China’s preeminent auction house, China Guardian, and before that he worked in New York at Kaikodo Gallery.