Collaborating with Berkeley’s C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Heretical Knowledge presents an additional group of the premodern title photographs at the Viola Wan-shui Soong Gallery, which are juxtaposed with books Xiaoze Xie selected from the Rare and Special Collections, displayed in three vitrines. The photographs and the objects of related titles illustrate the justifications for literary censorship in Late Imperial China: political, religious, philosophical, and moral. The juxtaposition invites comparison between different editions of the same titles in the photographs which Xie took at Chinese public institutions and the objects in the Starr collection. The exhibition is in dialogue with the Japanese and Korean banned books displayed on the third floor of the library to examine the history of censorship in East Asia and beyond.
Xiaoze Xie, the Paul L. & Phyllis Wattis Professor of Art at Stanford University, is an internationally recognized artist who has exhibited extensively in the US and abroad. His work is in the permanent collection of such institutions as the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, San Jose Museum of Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Oakland Museum of California. Xie received the Asia Game Changer West Award from the Asia Society (2022), the Painter and Sculptor’s Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2013), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2003) and artist awards from Phoenix Art Museum (1999) and Dallas Museum of Art (1996).