From time to time on this page, we will profile individual department faculty and their recent activities. For spring 2012, we catch up with Chang Tan, Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Culture, as she returns from sabbatical.
In high spirits, Chang returned to Harvey Mudd after a half-year sabbatical in Asia. She primarily served as a visiting scholar in the Chinese Studies department at the National University of Singapore, but she also worked with Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong and the Long march Foundation in Beijing. Needless to say, as a scholar of modern Asian art, she greatly enjoyed those opportunities. Check out, for example, the exhibition Negotiating Home, History and Nation, of which she is now in the midst of writing a review.
During the sabbatical, Chang labored on her book manuscript, tentatively entitled To Copy or to Steal: Originality and Appropriation in Contemporary Chinese Art, which examines how groups of Chinese artists create bold, sophisticated works through self-conscious appropriate of existing visual paradigms. She also completed an article "Art for/of the Masses: Revisiting the Communist Legacy in Chinese Art," which will appear on the journal Third Text on March 2012. In addition, she continued to research on the collaboration and interactions between Chinese, Japanese and Indian artists in the early 20th century, which started as a contribution to the wonderful project "Visualizing Cultures-Image-Driven Scholarship" in 2010.
But sabbatical is not all work! During her time away, Chang was also able to make trips to Penang, Bali and Angkor Wat.