University of Pittsburgh
September 26, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 27 -- The University Art Gallery at the University of Pittsburgh will present "Half a Century of Chinese Woodblock Prints: From the Communist Revolution to the Open-Door Policy and Beyond, 1945-1998," with an opening from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1, in the Frick Fine Arts Building on the Oakland campus.

Iris Wachs, associate curator of the exhibition, will speak at 6 p.m.

The exhibition features Chinese woodblock prints representing 50 years of the "Creative WoodBlock Movement." The revolutionary theorist Lu Xun (1881-1936) initiated this movement, and argued that literature and art should be used as tools for bringing about revolutionary reform. He and his group translated Western literature -- particularly the literature of protest -- into Chinese, and advocated the use of Western woodblock prints as models for a new style of Chinese woodblock production that incorporated the descriptive and expressive qualities that Lu Xun associated with Western social protest art.

The exhibition, which includes over 100 original woodblock prints, has two sections. The first is historical, reviewing the principal innovations from the 1940s to the 1990s and which includes good examples by the artists considered the fathers of modern Chinese printmaking. The second provides a look at the work of artists who matured after the Cultural Revolution.

This is the first time the Chinese Embassy has given its support to an exhibition not curated by its own Ministry of Culture and contains many prints lent by the artists themselves or their estates and brought out of China specifically for this purpose.

Concurrent with the Woodblock Print Exhibition, the University Art Gallery also will sponsor a small exhibition of Chinese memorabilia, presented to the University by the late General Matthew B. Ridgway. These objects have never been displayed as a collection or group. A number of other activities related to the exhibition are being offered. (See accompanying schedule.)

The exhibition is free and open to the public, and will run through

Dec. 4. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and

10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday. For more information about the exhibition, call


The exhibition is co-sponsored by Pitt's Asian Studies Program, Office of the Provost, the departments of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the History of Art and Architecture, the Cultural Studies Program, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the University Art Gallery, and the International Business Center of the Katz Graduate School of Business.





o Lecture on "The United States and China After the Cold War: What's the Problem?" by David M. Lampton, director of Chinese Studies at Johns Hopkins University and former president of the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations. 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7, in the University Art Gallery Rotunda, Frick Fine Arts Building. For more information, call 412-648-7370

o A dramatic production of "Uncle Doggie's Nirvana," written by Jin Yun in 1986. This play originally was produced by the Beijing People's Art Theatre to wide critical acclaim. It runs Oct. 9-10 and 12 through 17, in the Studio Theatre, basement of the Cathedral of Learning. Show time is 8 p.m. Call 624-PLAY for ticket information.

o Gallery talk by Iris Wachs, associate curator of the exhibition, 12 to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, University Art Gallery. Free and open to the public.

o "Picturing Politics: A Symposium on the Chinese Creative Woodblocking Print Movement," 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15, in the Frick Fine Arts Building. Reception follows. Featured speakers include: Chang Tsong-zung, Hanart T Z Gallery, Hong Kong; Julia Andrews, Ohio State University; Ellen Laing, University of Michigan, and Paul Pickowicz, University of California San Diego. For more information call 412-648-2400.

o Gallery talk by Katherine Carlitz, adjunct professor, Pitt's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, on "From the Forties to the Nineties: Changing the 'Revolution' in Chinese Revolutionary Art." 12 to 1 p.m., Wednesday,

Oct. 27, University Art Gallery. Free and open to the public.

o Chinese 20th Century Film Series, running weekends, Oct. 30 through

Nov. 28. Films include "The Opium War," "Frozen," "King of Masks," "Xiu Xiu: the Sent Down Girl" and "The Emperor's Shadow." The films are in Mandarin with English subtitles and will be shown in the Carnegie Museum of Art Lecture Hall. For more information, call 412-622-3212.