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Title: The investigation into the development of glass as an expressive medium in China through direct contact with Western methods of making, decoration and forming
Author: Xue, Lu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 7179
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is an investigation into the development of glass as an expressive medium in China through direct contact with Western methods of making, decoration and forming glass. The investigation proceeds through an analysis of the parallels between glass objects produced from Kangxi (1662-1722) to Qianlong period (1736-96), and contemporary practitioners’ (2000-2009), which is complemented by my own practice. The investigation mainly looks at three aspects and their inter-relationship within these strands. They are: 1) the history of glassmaking from 1696 to 1795 in the Qing dynasty with Western influences; 2) the analysis of Contemporary Chinese studio/academic glass within the imported UK model; 3) the development of my personal glass practice within this matrix. Practical work is of two components: reproductions of historical examples and personal creative pieces. The inter-relationship/comparison between these three strands seeks to identify themes, such as the influence of the imported models, reactions to them (the nature of hybrid), and the development of Chinese identity within glassmaking. The purpose is to draw similarities and differences from the comparisons in terms of philosophy, attitude, cultural reference and technique, between Qing and contemporary China, to provide general principles in practice and guidance for future development. Basic information has been gathered from a wide range of sources both in China and in the UK using libraries, museums and galleries / literature from books, journals, archives and websites. Some information has been derived from direct contact (emails, interviews, conversations and questionnaires) with practitioners and scholars. The nature of the research has involved the examination of real historical objects and their technical repetitions, visits to Chinese Universities and personal exhibitions. These investigations included the identification of almost all of the extant examples of the Qing dynasty and their examination in terms of the identified aims of the research, especially in terms of physical evidence within the objects themselves. A body of personal work has also been developed and presented as a case study and used as an investigative tool for analysing the contemporary movement and the making of suggestions. The techniques addressed in this research were developed as examples to illustrate the diverse possibilities of practice. The whole study has been complemented by practice, the outcome of the research naturally consisted of a written thesis and a body of personal work. The written part contains the interpretation of contemporary Chinese studio glass and the analysis of its actual influences from Western practice. Furthermore the comparison of historical experiences is given through the viewpoint of a glass practitioner. A series of similarities and differences and the experiences from other practical models (Western Studio Glass Movement) have been illustrated from the comparison, as well as a set of recommendations and a vision for future development in China. The use of visuals, including image comparisons, technical and process illustrations, drawings, videos and actual samples, are designed to give new insights on the research of Chinese glass and provides an added dimension for presenting and encouraging discourse within the research of Art & Design. Additionally, a comprehensive appendix at the end of the thesis records almost all of the existing Qing glass objects while concentrating on the highest quality of the same category both in and out of China. Further information on relative exhibitions, publications and contact lists are useful for those who are willing to pursue a further study.
Supervisor: Cummings, Keith ; Garfoot, Stuart ; Yaochang, Pan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chinese glassforming ; Western influence ; Contemporary ; Qing dynasty