In 2011-12, the prize for the outstanding dissertation on the MA Fine Art degree was awarded to Celyn Bricker.
The dissertation, "Reforming Reality: Pictorial Realism and Linguistic Reform in Republican China", was given a mark of 80, and is described by Celyn below:
The central argument of my dissertation was the following: that the use of realism in Chinese art in the approximate period 1912 to 1937 was directly connected to the projects of linguistic reform of the same time, as both could be coherently understood as part of the attempt to modernize Chinese culture. This was illustrated through two main examples: first, in the connection between the work of artist Gao Jianfu and the baihua or 'vernacular' movement in language reform; second, in the complex relationship between the work of writer Lu Xun, the woodcut movement he propagated and his advocation for the Latinisation of the Chinese language. A central aspect to this argument was the idea that the Chinese artists and intellectuals of this period were in some sense aspiring to reform 'reality' itself through a reform of culture. It was precisely this concept that came to determine the course of Chinese culture throughout the twentieth Century.
This article was published on Jun 19, 2012