Subjectivity in Gao Xingjian’s Paintings

Welcome to a guest lecture by Professor Kwok-kan Tam at Uppsala University (Forum for China Studies).

Date: 20th March 2018 at 2:15-4pm                    
Place: Engelska parken 9-1016

Gao Xingjian is noted for his use of a new language in fiction and dramatic writings, which explores the multiplicity of the self. This new language of literary writing has been characterized by Gao as “stream of language,” in which the speaker moves in his narration from one subject position to another among “I, me, you, he, and she,” and beyond to the meta-narrative. Such narrative positions mirror the speaker’s selves in their attempts to reach the state of “chaos” in the soul. In the same vein, Gao explores the use of flowing perspectives in his paintings. The objects in his paintings are not only mirror images of the multiple selves, but also impressions, dream unknowns, mental hollows, and inner psychical depths. In this lecture, Gao’s paintings will be examined alongside his novels in an attempt to probe the inner depths of the mind.

Speaker’s bio:
Kwok-kan Tam is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities and Head of the International Ibsen Committee at the University of Oslo. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been Professor, Department Chair and Dean in various institutions in Hong Kong, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Open University of Hong Kong and Hang Seng Management College. He has received fellowships for research at the East-West Centre, Honolulu and National University of Singapore. He is currently visiting Stockholm University. He has published on Ibsen, Gao Xingjian, Chinese film, gender in Chinese literature, Southeast Asian Anglophone writings, and world Englishes.

written by Alice Duhan
22 February, 2018