Cover: The Liu Kuo-sung Reader: Selected Texts on and by the Artist, 1950s–Present, from Harvard University PressCover: The Liu Kuo-sung Reader in PAPERBACK

The Liu Kuo-sung Reader

Selected Texts on and by the Artist, 1950s–Present

Product Details


$50.00 • £43.95 • €45.95

ISBN 9781736086407

Publication Date: 11/14/2023


288 pages

8-1/2 x 11 inches

280 photos

Harvard FAS CAMLab


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In a career spanning seven decades, Liu Kuo-sung (Liu Guosong, born 1932 in China) has singlehandedly reinvented the millennium-old tradition of ink painting. His abstract landscapes and cosmographs subvert established conventions of brushwork and composition to embrace expansive visions of the cosmos. As both practitioner and theorist, Liu serves as a model for generations of artists. He has received the highest artistic awards in the Sinosphere and is the only non-Western painter elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Yet his contributions have remained poorly integrated into the global history of modern and contemporary art.

The Liu Kuo-sung Reader, the first anthology in English devoted to the painter, redresses this oversight. The texts gathered here—many of them previously untranslated or unpublished—trace Liu’s journey from his childhood of poverty and migration across war-torn China, to his rise as the firebrand leader of an avant-garde movement in Cold War–era Taiwan and Hong Kong, to his celebrated return to mainland China as a modernist forerunner and educator during the economic liberalization of the 1980s and 1990s.

Richly illustrated and arranged in dynamic dialogue, these texts illuminate issues that Liu has confronted throughout his life and that resonate today: the meaning of tradition, the politics of artmaking, and the dynamics of creative freedom.

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