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Dr Fan Dongwang, Chinese-Australian artist, completed his doctoral thesis, Shifting Perspectives and the Body, in Wollongong University in 1999. In recent years he has combined his traditional Chinese ivory carving technique with his new acrylic canvas paintings. Known for his contemporary depiction of traditional Chinese cultural symbols, Fan has explored cultural differences, often from diverse visual perspectives in his writing.

Fan Dongwang-Shifting Perspectives
Fan Dongwang
Shifting Perspectives and the Body 
Introduction and Chapter 1 - The Western Vision.


In this piece Chinese-Australian painter Fan Dongwang explores the cultural differences arising from diverse visual perspectives. Shifting perspectives in visual art from a method point of view are the systems of space rendering, which differ considerably in many cultures and traditions. Shifting perspectives from a metaphor viewpoint have philosophical, technological, social, sexual, and emotional significance. Such perspectives broaden our perception of bodies in space. This study has developed from the examination of diverse shifting perspectives employed in historical and contemporary Western and Chinese art. Through detailed analysis of various art practices dealing with the representation of human identities in relation to changing social and technological environment, the focus of this study is on a new way of viewing the body in space.

Double Screen - A Picture Within A Picture

Fan Dongwang

Double Screen - A Picture Within A Picture.
Extract from Shifting Perspectives and the Body Chapter 2 -
The Chinese Dispersing Panorama.


In Chinese-Australian artist Fan Dongwang's painting Double Screen, there is a traditional Chinese screen and a computer screen. These are effective visual devices to display images imported from other spaces, and to help viewers to shift their perspectives from place to place, reality to art, and to construct spaces accordingly.  In this article, Fan Dongwang discusses Double Screen: A Picture within a Picture in the traditional Chinese figurative painting, explaining the design of the Double Screen as a visual device in relation to artists’ particular viewing methods.

My Dancing Shadows

Fan Dongwang

My Dancing Shadows
Extract from Shifting Perspectives and the Body Chapter 3 -
A Visual Solution: Shadow Perspective


After the previous inquiry of western and Chinese shifting perspectives, this chapter clarifies how Chinese Australian artist Fan Dongwang combines different space rendering systems by using his techniques of Sculptural Painting and Shadow Perspective.  The detailed examinations of the artist's methods of combining different perspectives conclude in A Visual Solution - Shadow Perspective. While engaged in exploring the full potential of rendering space and volume to create a comprehensive perspective system, this method is not mathematical and is not devised as an exercise in abstract geometrical rationality. Rather, it serves aesthetic and symbolic purposes. 


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