Author Auyeung, Poyin
Title Art, urbanism, and public space: Critical spatial responses to urban redevelopment in Beijing (1976--2000)
book jacket
Descript 421 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-04, Section: A, page: 1190
Adviser: Rosemarie H. Bletter
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of New York, 2008
This dissertation focuses on a particular segment of Chinese public art, works produced between 1976 and 2000 that can be seen as responding critically to the drastic redevelopment of Beijing. "Post-Mao" (post-1976) China has been marked by the rapid reshaping of its major cities, typically involving tabula rasa demolition. The physical, socio-economic, and psychological displacement that accompanied this drastic alteration of the urban form and the social fabric inspired varied critical artistic responses. My study concentrates on artistic projects in streets, parks, and squares, and at demolition sites, including sculpture, graffiti, performance, and temporary installation. In discussing city planners' critiques of reckless demolition of historic buildings and ruthless eviction of long-time residents, I examine alternative housing schemes addressing architectural, social, and political-economic considerations in historic conservation. My treatment of the notions "public" and "public space" is contextualized by three key markers of recent Chinese history: the 1978 economic reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping; the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations; and the accelerated urbanization that began in the early 1990s. Profoundly altering urban space in major Chinese cities, these three turning points also led to changing definitions of "public," along with changes in artists' perception and use of public space. A fundamental premise of this dissertation is that public art and urban processes are characterized by social and political conflict, as held by Harriet F. Senie and Rosalyn Deutsche. A key concept is Henri Lefebvre's "production of space," which identifies space as the object of social struggle rather than as merely a neutral container or backdrop---and hence as capable of generating spatial conflicts and politics. Also fundamental to this study is Raymond Williams's emphasis on the possibilities for agency in cultural production. I present cultural professionals involved in the spatial production of Beijing---public artists, architects, and city planners---as exercising critical agency as they contribute to shaping or redefining urban public space
School code: 0046
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 69-04A
Subject Art History
Urban and Regional Planning
Alt Author City University of New York. Art History