Special Issue "Ancient Chinese Art: Jades and Bronze"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 June 2023 | Viewed by 389

Special Issue Editor

Institute of Asian Studies, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA
Interests: ancient Chinese religion, art, and archaeology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The scope and purpose of this issue is to highlight the role of jade and bronze art in China's earliest cultures, from ca. 3300 to ca. 3rd c. BCE, from the Late Neolithic Jade Age through the Warring States period, the era before dynastic Qin and Han periods. The author may choose to focus on one or more objects, a comparison of objects, or on a jade or bronze theme or symbol that is theoretically challenging and intellectually significant. Stylistic expression is key to understanding chronology and meaning in differentiating, for example, Chu bronze styles from Qin or others of the spring and autumn period or later, or Western Zhou hu from spring and autumn hu style vessels. How does one characterize the style of Sanxixngdui bronzes? Why is Qijia stylistic expression from mainstream ancient Chinese jade working? One needs to ground analysis with the support of archaeologically and historically related data. A particular image, such as the rhinoceros in Shang and Zhou bronze art or the human in jade sculpture are examples for consideration. Yet, defining style and its expression are critical; as Meyer Shapiro once pointed out in Style, 1953, "Style is, above all, a system of forms with a quality and meaningful expression through which the personality of the artist and the overall style is critical" (Style, 1953, Columbia University Press). Style is the unity of form and content.

Excellent recent studies are noteworthy but often shun analyzing style or a work of art whose style may be employed to identify a cultural expression. For example, recent publications on jade and bronze include the study in 2017 by Xiaolong Wu on the Warring State site of Zhongshan titled Material Culture, Power, and Identity in Ancient China, Cambridge Univ. Press; a study in 2021 by Yan Sun titled Many Worlds Under One Heaven: Material Culture, Identity, and Power int he Northern Frontiers of the Western Zhou, 1045-771BCE.; a study by Peng Peng in 2020 on Metalworking in Bronze Age China: The Lost-Wax Process (Cambria Sinophone World); and study in 2022 by Yung-ti Li titled Kingly Crafts: The Archaeology of Craft Production in Late Shang China(Tang Center Series in Early China). My own work, titled Metamorphic Imagery in Ancient Chinese Art and Religion (Routledge 2022), on the other hand, takes an art historical, historical, and archaeological approach to the study of various bronze and jade works of art.

This is not a space for cataloguing works of art from museum or private collections, but rather for exploring how archaeology and style affect cultural expression.

Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Childs-Johnson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • ancient Chinese jade
  • bronze
  • style
  • cultural expression
  • artistic symbols

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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