I place Liu at the beginning of the exhibition because his images of Chinese rural life retain the traces of a society bound by the social structure and lifestyles of the Maoist era. Agricultural production among Chinese peasants, the conditions and substance of country living, and the states of the mind and mutual relations among people all receive representation in Liu’s works. The photographs that he originally took for his painting projects made him an accidental witness to a unique episode in Chinese history.
Compared with Liu Xiaodi’s non-conceptual approach, projects a distinctive formal and conceptual awareness in his portraits taken in Henan province during the 1990s. His technique has an apparent and misleading straightforwardness. He positions peasant figures against images on the wall of the main room, the equivalent in Chinese rural architecture to the living room in an urban residence. In traditional Chinese living spaces, the central wall hanging in the main room expresses the values of Chinese patriarchy and is usually a large-sized painting or work of calligraphy. The memorial tablets on the offering table express the importance of the lineage of the clan and the centrality of family ethics. Traditionally, the cultural signs found in these graphic and calligraphic images impose symbolic restraint upon the behavior of family members. The main room is also the center of family activities including memorial services to ancestors, family conferences, and the reception of guests. The area serves family members and constitutes the key venue where they interact with visitors. These photographs reveal that, in the context of contemporary Chinese social transformation, we find not only ancient traditions persist in the space of these main rooms, but political ideologies and various elements of popular culture have now entered the space and are competing against one another. Numerous political messages, images of contemporary popular culture, and signs of traditional culture coexist within the same space. Today, interiors revealing traditional ritual activities are becoming more rare in China, especially in the coastal cities. They are being replaced by décor evoking Western-style living rooms. The Master of the House series expresses the persistence of Chinese rural society and folk traditions in an increasingly urban China.
Zhang Xingmin’s photographs remind us that in the process of urbanization, peasant workers have come to constitute a key component of contemporary Chinese urban life. Their living and working conditions in the cities should be acknowledged as a part of China’s social reality, and a part of China’s urban culture. Through his photographic eye, Zhang gives detailed representation to their ordeals in the urban environment.
Don't try to come up with a thesis first, and then investigate it. Startby exploring some task domain. Take some initial ideas and push them hardfor a year or so. Now, stop and think about what you've done and what you'velearned. Among your accomplishments and experience, there will be severalgood candidate theses. Pick one. Test it out on your advisor and other facultymembers. Test it out on other students. Is it a claim that you can describeclearly and briefly? Is it a claim that anyone cares about? Is it a claimthat people don't find perfectly obvious, or if they do find it obvious,can you convince them that it could easily be false.
Highly unlikely. If you're bright, educated, and have worked hard ona topic for more than a year, you must have learned something no one elseknew before. The first mistake that students make is to think that athesis has to be grander than the theory of relativity. A thesis shouldbe new and interesting, but it doesn't have to change the foundations ofall we believe and hold dear.
64. The cult of the goddess Mazu in south China.
65. Buddhist monasticism.
66. What's in the Buddhist canon as known to most Chinese?
67. The Kings of Hell and Judgement after death.
68. Chinese contributions to the Buddhist canon.
69. Chinese place gods: Chenghuang (the city god) and Tudi Gong (the earth god, a.k.a. She).
70. Chinese theology and the view of hell.
71. Divination: when must the goeds be consulted and why?
72. Evidence for nature worship in pre-Han times.
73. Evidence for popular (i.e., non-royal) ancestor worship in pre-Han times.
74. The evolution of the idea of reincarnation after it is introduced to China from India.
75. Lay Buddhism.
76. Liturgical Taoism (as against philosophical or literary Taoism).
77. Elixirs of immortality in Chinese tradition.
78. The nature of indigenous Chinese Christian churches.
79. Nuns, priests, and other religious professionals.
80. Patterns in Chinese ghost stories.
81. The religious beliefs of the Taiping rebels of the 19th century and their relation to traditional religious beliefs.
82. The role of texts in Chinese Buddhism as it was practiced.
83. Secret societies and small-scale religious sects during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
84. Secret societies in pre-Ming-dynasty times.
85. Tai Shan: a sacred mountain.
86. Trance and possession in Chinese society.
87. What actual evidence is there about the behavior of the ancient Wu ("shamans")?
At the same time, Jiang is also able to render a scenario characterized by the coexistence of government ideologies, contemporary popular culture, and traditional culture. Of course, what we may further learn from the photographs is that the process of urbanization is also one in which the values of urban living begin to be widely circulated and to take root in rural areas. Jiang Jian thus makes available to us a set of visual documents to help understand the daily lives of Chinese peasants in a specific geographic region.
89. Charity and welfare in theory and practice.
90. Chinese rhetoric: how Chinese argue.
91. Chinese styles of conflict and conflict resolution.
92. Ethical dilemmas and the celebration of ethical dilemmas.
93. How Chinese thought about painting and paintings.
94. Jokes and farces: the underlying patterns in what Chinese found funny.
95. Life in the army.
96. What is "face" anyway?
97. Patterns in the conceptualization of the "martial arts."
98. Song Dynasty Prostitution.
99. The punishment of children in traditional families.
100. Theatricals as a way to teach morality and history to illiterate people.
101. Two Chinese games and their social and cultural significance.
102. Value orientations in Chinese proverbs & popular expressions.
One defense for this kind of claim is an analysis of the complexity,or completeness, or whatever, of the theoretical algorithm. In computer science,the more common defense is based on empirical results from running anexperiment.A good defense here means more than one example, and answers to questionssuch as the following. What are the capabilities and limits of your experiment?How often do the things that your experiment does come up in the real world?What's involved in extending it? If it's easy to extend, why haven't you?If your example is a piece of a larger system, how realistic are yourassumptionsabout input and output?
103. Neolithic peoples of Heilongjiang: a second Xia dynasty?
104. Neolithic peoples of the Sichuan Basin: a second Xia dynasty?
105. So what's with the Xia Dynasty?
106. Who was "Peking Man" and does he matter to later China?
107. Is there any actual evidence that prehistoric China was matriarchal?
108. What were the "Dunhuang Caves" all about?
51. Chinese "Culture-bound psychiatric syndromes."
52. Medical diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine.
53. Religion and the treatment of childhood illness in traditional China.
54. Diet and nutrition before the discovery of the Americas.
55. How Chinese thought about the human stomach.
56. Plagues, pestilence, and famines.
57. The idea of in Chinese medicine.
37. Different schools of interpretation concerning the nature of Shang and Zhou period bronzes.
38. Manchus and Mongols: How two kinds of outsiders tried to run the Chinese empire.
39. Recent archaeological evidence concerning the origins of agriculture in China.
40. Taiwan at the time of the Dutch & Dutch policy concerning Taiwan.
41. Taiwan at the time of the Japanese annexation: What did the Japanese get?
42. The Chinese migrations into Malaya and their local-level organization.
43. How can we know how big the population of China was in the Yuan dynasty?
44. Was the famous Tang dynasty persecution of Buddhists really necessary? A study of the anti-Buddhist position.
45. Western experience of China: The view of three nineteenth- or early twentieth-century missionaries.
46. What are the Dunhuang manuscripts and what do they tell us about Chinese society?
47. What do we actually know about the reforms of Wang Mang?
48. What we know about most ancient Chinese writing and what needs to be done if we are to find out more.
49. What we know about the Xiongnu.
50. Who are the Hakkas?