This book is published to accompany the exhibition ‘State Legacy: Research in the Visualization of Political History’ held at Cornerhouse and The Holden Gallery, Manchester from April to May 2009; and OCAT, Shenzhen, China from September to November 2009.
The book also aims to present results of a research project under the same title which lasted for three years. The publication is an anthology of documents from intellectual and visual history research.
‘The project is designed to encourage discussion starting from the following issues: the history of thought and the logic of visual history relative to the transformation of China from an ancient empire to a modern nation-state. These include the ideological influence that the ideas of ‘modernization’ and ‘anti-modernization’ have exercised on China’s forming of a nation-state; the visual forms, iconic elements of symbol, product, ceremony, space in the process of the country’s transformation from a cultural entity to a political and spiritual entity and the relationship of these iconic elements to the history of thought. This book includes important treatises by Wu Hung, Wang Hui and Zhao Tingyang, as well as archives from important exhibitions of artists Wang Guangyi, Wang Jianwei, Lu Hao, Zeng Li and Sui Jianguo.’ (p.79, ‘OCAT is the Synonymy of Independent Art in China’)