Assistant Professor of Asian Art History
Department of Art and Art History


Ph.D., Art History, University of Chicago
M.A., Art Studies, National Central University
B.A. Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Chiao Tung University

Regional and Thematic Interests

Chinese and Japanese visual culture and material history
Sino-Japan relationship
Color printing 
Global modernism 
History of collecting and display


Stephanie Su is an East Asian art historian. 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 discourse and the scientific development in modern Japan. 

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, for which she was the Assistant Curator. Her research has been supported by the Japan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Cultures of Conservation, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, the Association for Asian Studies, the Japan Art History Forum, the National Museum of Korea Network Fellowship, among others.

Selected Publications

“In Pursuit of Colors: Paintings, Prints and Textile Designs in Late Nineteenth Century Japan,” in Color Revolution: Fashion and the Floating World. Exhibition catalogue. MA: Worcester Art Museum (forthcoming).
“Sensuous Past: Transmedial Relationship in the Historical Imagination in 1930s China,” Frontier of Literary Studies in China (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.   
“现代中日美术交流史海外研究综述” (Status of the Field: Overseas Scholarship on Modern Sino-Japanese Artistic Exchanges), and “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 Hua Tianxue, eds., Passing Through Fusang: The Reform of Painting by Chinese Artists Studied in Japan, 1905-1937. Guangzhou: Lingnan Publisher, May 2018.    
“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. 
“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.