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Fan Zhang

Fan Zhang

Assistant Professor, Asian Art
203 Woldenberg Art Center


PhD, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University


Fan Zhang specializes in the art and material culture of early medieval China (3rd–6th century CE) and the cultural interactions among East Asia, Central Asia, and Northeastern Asia through and beyond the Silk Road network. Her current book project, Unearthed Identities: Gender, Ethnicity, and Transculturation in Early Medieval Chinese Art, explores how artworks function as effective vehicles for individuals to articulate one’s identities in a multi-ethnic society of fifth-century North China. Her publications, appearing in Artibus Asiae, Journal of Palace Museum, Asian Studies, etc., probe into the cross-cultural movement of objects and people, the intersectionality between funerary art and Buddhist art, and the entanglement between art, humans, and the environment. She has conducted archaeological fieldwork in both China and Central Asia. She also participated in research and curatorial programs in several museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Korea, and the Sichuan Museum.
 “Silver Handled Cup: Syncretism, Materiality, and Banquets in Northern Wei (386–5342CE) Art.” Artibus Asiae, Vol.82, No. 1 (2022): 5–26.
 “Contextualizing Inkstone from Datong: Stationery and Writing Practice During the Northern Dynasties.” Palace Museum Journal, No. 2 (2022):55–69. (In Chinese)
 “Thirteenth-century Persian Lustre Bowl with Zodiac Signs from the Perspective of Art History.” Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Ages. London: Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Medieval Studies, 2021.
 “Revisiting the Music-playing Image in Song Shaozu’s Tomb: Interaction Between Pingcheng and the Hexi Region During the Northern Wei Period.” Dunhuang Research, No. 6 (2020): 48–57. (In Chinese)
 “Things on the Move: Material Culture and Connectivity in Ancient China.” International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter, No.86, Summer 2020.
 “Chinese-Buddhist Encounter: Synthesis of Fuxi-Nüwa and the Cintamani in Early Medieval Chinese Art.” Asian Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2019), 87–111
 “The Dotted Pattern: Visual Representation and Social Significance of Fur in East Asia.” In NMK 2015 Museum Network Fellowship Research Papers, 26–42. Seoul: National Museum of Korea Press, 2015.
 “Silverware Across the Sea: Maritime Network and Artistic Exchange Between China and Korea During the Early Medieval Period.” In Materiality of Sino-Foreign Maritime Cultural Exchange, edited by Ward, S. Liu, Y. & Walker-Vadillo, V. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2023. (Forthcomimg)
 “Funerary Art in China, 1. Introduction,” “Funerary Art in China, 3. Murals and Other Paintings.” Grove Encyclopedia of Asian Art. Oxford Art Online. (Forthcoming)
NOMA Online Lecture: “Wine Cups Along the Silk Road: Transmission, Materiality, and Banquets”