Numerous political and social stereotypes abound among students at American universities, especially when dealing with contemporary China. The importance of teaching contemporary art trends in introductory courses in Asian Art, focusing on individual artists who have become or are considered part of the international art arena, cannot be emphasized enough. In fact, contemporary art can often be used to provoke thought or initiate discussion to alleviate misunderstandings and stereotypes in the classroom. The standard knowledge of China among students of post-secondary education in the U. S. does not include an understanding of the role that artists play in politics and in the media. Much of contemporary history, culture and politics can also be presented through the teaching of art. By covering the history of art from Neolithic times up into the 20th century, and then addressing Asian artists’ roles in international art currents, students are exposed to the unique cultures’ ancient traditions as well as modern, contemporary and cutting edge contributions to globalization.
|Keywords:||Asia, Asian Art, China, Chinese Art, Art History, Teaching, Post-secondary Education, Pedagogy, Contemporary, Avant-garde, New Media Art|
Assistant Professor, Art Department, Humanities Division, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI, USA
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