In "Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde", Xiaobing Tang studies the art and art theories of the first half of the twentieth century, when modern Chinese art and literature emerged. He argues that the most consequential expression of the avant-garde was the modern woodcut movement that thrived in China in the 1930s. In this innovative study - also the first comprehensive account of this Chinese movement available in English - Tang examines the aesthetic, intellectual, and social appeal of the modern woodcut and places the movement at the intersection of historical events, individual efforts, and competing discourses on art. He also shows how the woodcut movement drew upon international inspiration - from German Expressionism, Soviet wood engravings, and Japanese creative prints.
Xiaobing Tang is Professor of Chinese at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Chinese Modern: The Heroic and the Quotidian (2000) and Global Space and the National Discourse of Modernity: The Historical Thinking of Liang Qichao (1996).