The Research, Writing and Practice of Postmodern Visual Narrative


Venue: Auditorium, 1st Floor, OCAT Institute

The symposium is a free event. Please register with us by sending “0308+name+email” to the OCAT Institute WeChat platform. Reservation is successful upon completion. 

The symposium for the exhibition The Abode of Anamnesis  will take place at the OCAT Institute on the opening day of the exhibition. Centered around the theme “The Research, Writing and Practice of Postmodern Visual Narrative”, the symposium consists of two different panels: “Narrative Turn in Contemporary Art: Theory and Practice” and “Vision of Contemporary Photographic Narrative”. Researchers from various disciplines in China and abroad are invited to talk about different issues related to the research, writing and practice of visual narratives in the global art industry, with the aim of promoting cross-media and cross-disciplinary research on theories of visual narratives.

Panel I: 10:00-12:20 

Narrative Turn in Contemporary Art: Theory and Practice  

From the 1990s to date, researches on postmodern narratives have been flourishing in fields such as literature, film and video art for nearly 30 years. Theories born in different areas of study, including semiotics, art history and iconology, are widely used in the research and writing of visual narratives and have deepened the dialogue between different cultures and disciplines. At the same time, artists are constantly redefining the boundaries of visual narratives through the use of new media, ingenious constructions of their work and creative ways of presentation. “Narrative Turn in Contemporary Art: Theory and Practice” focuses on the research and practice of narratives in contemporary art in China and the West. The panel will explore different media such as film, video and photography as well as their connection to traditional literary narratives and the mutual construction between the two. 

10:00-11:30 Guest Talks


Moderator:Wang Huan (Writer, Curator, Winner of the Fifth International Awards for Art Criticism)


Long Diyong (Professor, Department of Art Theory, School of Art, Southeast University)  


Lu Mingjun (Associate Professor, Department of  Art Studies, Sichuan University)

Yang Beichen (Researcher of Contemporary Art and Film, Lecturer of Drama Literature Department, Central Academy of Drama )

Zhu Xinwei (Lecturer, School of Foreign Languages, Beijing Forestry University) 


11:30-11:45 Coffee Break


11:45-12:20 Panel Discussion


Guests: Wang Huan, Long Diyong, Lu Mingjun, Yang Beichen, Zhu Xinwei, Yang Yuanyuan, Chen Min, Dong Yuxiang, He Yining

Panel II:  14:00-16:30

Vision of Contemporary Photographic Narrative 

Communicating meanings through elaborately constructed images and incorporating photos into macro- or micro-narratives by freeing them from their representational functions and reordering them are both strategies used by creators of contemporary photographic narratives in their attempt to break from traditional narratives. Due to the richness of the photographic language and its complicated relationship with other narrative media, “Vision of Contemporary Photographic Narrative” will focus on a series of questions closely related to contemporary photographic narratives: Can we use postmodern theories on narrative in the formulation of a set of analytic strategies for image narratives? Why should we construct narratives through photography when video art has been fully developed? What do photographic narratives have in common with literary and cinematic narratives and what are the differences? Does the popularity of photobooks worldwide play an important role in the current trend of photographic narratives? 

14:00-15:00 Guest Talks

Moderator: He Yining (Researcher, Curator) 


Greg Battye (Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra)

José Luís Neves (Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster)

Shi Zhen (Artist, Independent Publisher)

He Bo (Artist, Editor of Chinese Photography Magazine)

15:30-15:50 Coffee Break 

15:50-16:30 Panel Discussion 

Guests: Greg Battye, José Luís Neves, Shi Zhen, He Bo, Li Lang, Zhu Lanqing, He Yining