Stephanie Su
Assistant Profesor • History of Asian Art
Art History

Stephanie Su is an East Asian art historian. Her research interests include the Sino-Japanese relationship, global modernism, historiography, history of collecting and exhibition, materiality of colors and print culture.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before coming to CU Boulder, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for Cultures of Conservation at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia in UK. Besides researching, she has actively curated exhibitions, such as the special exhibition, Appropriation and Transformation: the Exploration of Painting by Chinese Artists Studied Abroad in the Early Twentieth Century at the He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, China (2015-16), for which she was the Assistant Curator.

Currently she is working on two projects. Her book manuscript, tentatively titled Entangled Modernities: The Representation of China’s Past in the Early Twentieth Century Chinese and Japanese Art, questions the role of national frameworks in the interpretation of art. Her book elaborates the production of history painting along the intertwined Sino-Japanese relationships and global modernism in the early twentieth century. During the nation-building period of both countries, ancient China was reimagined to be an idealized cultural entity that accommodated divergent views on conceptualizing East Asian identities and the position of East Asian art in the world. Her book argues that China was not simply a passive subject appropriated by Japan. Instead, ideas, concepts and images flew multi-directionally between China and Japan even when their power relationship was imbalanced.

Her second project, Colors of Modernity: Changing Aesthetics in Meiji Japanese Prints, explores the impact of the global trade network on the late 19th century Japanese prints. This project combines interdisciplinary approaches to art history, technical art history and conservation science to trace the shifting color use, aesthetic discourses and the scientific development in modern Japan. Her research has been supported by the Japan Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, the Japan Art History Forum, the National Museum of Korea Network Fellowship, among others.

Selected publications:

  • “Sensuous Past: Historical Imagination and Transmedia Aesthetics in Modern China,” Frontier of Literary Studies in China (forthcoming).   
  • “Weaving Art and Science: Imao Keinen’s Painting Manual of Flowers and Birds as Design Pattern Book,” in Amy Newland, ed. Kimono in Print. Seattle: University of Washington Press (forthcoming).
  • “Toward a Global History of Art: Recent Studies on Twentieth Century Japanese Art,” (book review), Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 77, issue 1, 2018.   
  • “Xu Beihong.” Grove Encyclopedia of Asian Art, edited by Sonya Lee. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).  
  • “现代中国美术中的日本因素:兼论20世纪中日美术史海外研究现状” (The Element of Japan in Modern Chinese Art: Overseas Research on Early Twentieth Century Chinese and Japanese Art), 艺术探索 (Art Exploration), issue 1, 2018. 
  • “陈树人与日本现代花鸟画的改革” (Chen Shuren and the Reform of Bird-and-Flower Painting in Japan,” in Passing Through Fusang: The Reform of Painting by Chinese Artists Studied in Japan, 1905-1937. Guangzhou: Lingnan Publisher, May 2018.  
  • “在世界史语境下重构中国艺术典范:试论徐悲鸿1933年在法国期刊发表的〈中国绘画史〉一文” (Reconstructing Aesthetic Paradigms in a Global Context: on Xu Beihong’s ‘Peinture chinoise’ Published in the French Art Journal in 1933). In Wang Wenjuan, ed., Zhongguo meishu: Shijie yujing (Chinese Art: Global Context). Beijing: Modern Publisher, 2017.  
  • “海外中国美术展览趋势与未来展望” (Recent Trends and Future Directions in Overseas Chinese Art Exhibitions), in the Quarterly Journal of the Henan Art Museum. Zhengzhou: Henan Art Museum. Volume. 15, No. 1, 2016. 
  • “Translating History Painting: Xu Beihong and Confucianism in Modern China,” in Un Maître et ses Maîtres: Xu Beihong et la peinture académique française. Exhibition catalogue. Beijing: Xu Beihong Memorial Art Museum, May 2014.
  • “徐悲鸿在日本:现代中国绘画再思考” (Xu Beihong in Japan: Reconsidering Modern Chinese Art), in Meishu (Art Monthly), October 2013.
  • “Classicizing Creative Prints: Yamamoto Kanae in France.” In Anne Leonard, ed. Awash in Color: French and Japanese Prints, exhibition catalogue. Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, 2012.
  • “Ruins as Sites of Modernity: Yan Wenliang’s Representation of Roman Ruins in 1930,” Modern Art Asia, vol. 5, November 2010. Reprinted in Majella Munro ed., Modern Art Asia, Issues 1-8. Cambridge, UK: Enzo Arts and Publishing Limited. 2012.
  • Chinese version: “廢墟作為現代性場域:顏文梁1930年代作品中的羅馬古跡再現”, in Five Hundred Years of Chinese Oil Painting 1542-2000.  Changsha: Hunan Art Publisher, December 2014.