On December 3, 2012, "Art Heritage Research Center" of Taiyuan University of Technology officially became the key research base of Shanxi province colleges and universities of humanities and social sciences, which is an independent research entity directly under Taiyuan University of Technology equal to the departments.
Faced with the new requirements for cultural development proposed by the state and Shanxi province, the center has carried out scientific research positioning according to the characteristics of large number of cultural relics and rich artistic heritage in Shanxi province. The center comprehensively sorts out the artistic heritages in Shanxi and deeply excavates the various values of these artistic heritages from the four dimensions, including technique, aesthetics, form and style innovation, and the expression of social and cultural concepts, so as to summarize and discuss the characteristics of art in Shanxi province. The art heritage in Shanxi province plays an important role in the national cultural heritage, through which the center aims to achieve the following goals. Firstly, Chinese art history and art theory are able to be promoted and complemented. Secondly, the center will provide academic support for the inheritance, protection, research and arrangement of the traditional artistic heritage that need to be solved urgently at present. Thirdly, it will open up a way for the recreation and utilization of traditional artistic elements. Finally, it will promote the artistic consciousness and creation on the humanistic level of Shanxi province, making contributions to the transformation of Shanxi province into a "strong cultural province".
Through careful selection and gathering, the center collects 35 researchers from both inside and outside the university who study artistic heritage or own research foundation and potential, forming a reasonable team with academic security. The center possesses 18 full-time researchers, including 2 doctors, 12 masters, 4 bachelors, 3 professors, 4 associate professors and 11 lecturers. It has 10 on-campus part-time researchers, including 1 doctor's degree, 8 master's degree, 1 bachelor's degree, 2 professors, 3 associate professors and 5 lecturers, and 7 off-campus part-time researchers, including 2 with doctor's degree, 2 with master's degree, 2 with bachelor's degree, 3 professors, 1 associate professor, 1 first-class artist and 1 researcher. Moreover, the research center has employed several well-known domestic experts in relevant fields such as Shao Dazheng and Luo Shiping to form an academic committee, providing academic support for the research development direction and the examination and approval of the research projects of the center.
Based on its existing research, the center has developed three research platforms, including Temple Art Institute, Implement Art Institute and Graphic Art Institute.
The Temple Art Institute plans to carry out studies on the temple arts of Shanxi province, including temple architectures, temple murals and painted sculptures, so as to order their historical and cultural connotation and highlight its artistic style and characteristics. The institute has published more than 50 related papers and applied for 8 national research projects. Relevant supporting research institutions cover Ancient Architecture Design Studio (affiliated studio of environmental design major), Drawing and Mapping Laboratory (National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center Laboratory), Crag Color Laboratory (National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center Laboratory) and Copying in Traditional Painting Laboratory (National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center Laboratory). The Master’s Program of Design Art sets two directions, including "Murals and Painting Art Research" and "Landscape and Indoor and Outdoor Environment Art Design Research".
Implement Art Institute carries out studies on the original painted pottery, bronze wares in the Shang and Zhou dynasties, jade articles in the Spring and Autumn Period, lacquerwares in Qin and Han dynasties and the Period of Warring States, brocade in Han and Tang dynasties, gold and silver wares in Tang and Song dynasties, porcelain in Song, Ming and Qing dynasties and embroidery discovered and excavated in Shanxi province. In this way can it dig and explore the craft, aesthetic and cultural value of these artifacts, and advance them to integrate into modern design, so as to make them revitalize. It has published more than 30 academic papers in national core journals such as Decoration, applied for 3 national research projects, and published 8 works. The existing supporting scientific research institutions in this direction cover Lacquer Art Studio, Ceramics Studio, Fiber Art Studio, Shanxi (Xinxin) Textile Industry Technology Center, as well as the "Traditional and Modern Decorative Art Design Research" and the "Apparel and Costume Art Design Research" direction under the Master’s Program of Design.
Graphic Art Institute, named after the term “iconology” put forward by Panofsky, focuses its research on artistic heritage of Shanxi province which takes canvas, paper, film and television as the media, and "graphic" as the presenting mode, including engraving and New Year paintings of Shanxi, the famous painters and their works prints in the history of Shanxi, posters and calendars during the period of the republic of China, the picture posters, old films and old photos during the cultural revolution period, as well as the packing of wine label and cigarette label with characteristic of Shanxi province. The institute has achieved good development and research results in five related fields, including painting, photography, animation, visual communication design, and modern and contemporary art research closely related to graphic art. At present, it covers the undergraduate majors, such as painting, photography, animation and visual communication design. It also sets laboratories such as Binding Package Studio, Visual Communication Studio, Creative Product Design Studio, Crag Color Laboratory and Copying in Traditional Painting Laboratory. Since 2007, the university has established the research direction of "Mural Painting and Painting Art" and “Media Visual Art” under the Master’s Program of Design Art, guiding the postgraduate to carry out relevant research and making certain academic progress.
In May 2013, researchers of the center successfully applied for 2 projects and 1 general project of Key Research Base of Shanxi Province Colleges and Universities of Humanities and Social Sciences.
In future development, the Art Heritage Research Center of Taiyuan University of Technology will be supported by the construction of the university, so as to explore potential, integrate the strength and highlight the characteristics and advantages such as regional, school and discipline aspects. The center will give full play to the regional advantages of art, textile, machinery, architecture and other disciplines and break discipline barriers, so as to follow the lead of complementary the advantages of disciplines. Moreover, it gathers outstanding full-time and part-time scientific research personnel and takes three institutes as the scientific research platform, so as to forge three professional research teams. Besides, it conducts academic research on the rich artistic heritage of Shanxi province from both traditional and modern dimensions and presents academic research achievements in the form of scientific research projects, monographs, papers and documentaries, striving to provide academic and technical support for the development of art and the transformation of "strong cultural province" of Shanxi province.
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