Paths to Artistic Eccentricity: Artists with Disabilities and Their Art in Eighteenth-Century Yangzhou


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Early Career Fellowships


History of Art and Architecture

Named Award



This project investigates artists with disabilities and their artistic developments in order to analyze the relationship between artistic eccentricity and disability art in eighteenth-century Yangzhou. It focuses on a group of artists, known as the Eight Eccentrics, who gained renown for rejecting the Beijing court’s orthodox painting style in favor of their own aesthetic choices. Among them, several were artists with disabilities. Through examining their art and writings, this project demonstrates that these artists sought to create artworks that challenged traditional aesthetics, social values, and political structures. It presents a new understanding of disability aesthetics rooted in Chinese culture, beyond the Eurocentrism of prior disability theory in art history.