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Asian Art and Culture Interest Group (AACIG) Column: Summer 2022

May 26, 2022

At the NAEA Convention in New York City, AACIG recognized Doug Blandy, professor emeritus of the College of Design and core faculty in the Folklore and Public Culture Program at the University of Oregon, as the recipient of the 2022 AACIG Distinguished Researcher in Asian Art and Culture Education (Figure 1). AACIG recognizes a distinguished researcher in the field of art education who demonstrates profound interest in advocating for Asian art and culture and exemplifies excellence in the profession. The distinguished speaker’s body of work is culturally responsive and provides transformative applications that emphasize inclusive practices for teaching and researching Asian art and culture. Blandy’s ChinaVine project (Figure 2) and ongoing research on cross-cultural art education, material culture, and preserving disappearing community culture are impactful to the field of art education and cultural studies. As the recipient of this honor, his AACIG presentation, “Experiencing China’s Cultural Heritage: Deep Listening and Lessons From the Field,” described his extensive studies of China’s cultural heritage. We are pleased to present Doug Blandy as our guest columnist for the Summer and Fall 2022 issues of the AACIG NAEA News column.

Lessons Learned: Interpreting China’s Cultural Heritage Part 1: Context Doug Blandy, University of Oregon It is with humility and gratitude that I received the 2022 Distinguished Researcher recognition from the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Asian Art and Culture Interest Group (AACIG). In receiving this honor, I recognize the many other individuals within China and the United States with whom I worked alongside documenting and interpreting China’s cultural heritage. What follows is an overview of the lecture I gave at the NAEA 2022 Convention. My initial firsthand introduction to China’s cultural heritage was in 1991 by C. Hu, a University of Oregon (UO) student doing research with the Tao people on Lanyu Island, Taiwan. However, it was not until 2005, when introduced to scholars associated with the Folk Art Research Institute at the Shandong University of Art and Design (SUAD), that I would be able to fully immerse myself in the study of China’s cultural heritage. A year later, at my invitation, University of Central Florida (UCF) Professor Kristin Congdon, because of her web-based project FolkVine, traveled with me to SUAD to establish a relationship among our three universities. We developed a plan for a website to educate English-speaking audiences about China’s cultural heritage. Kristin and I coordinated the project within the United States. The basis for the website would be fieldwork in Shandong. The website, called ChinaVine, was developed at the UCF and modeled on FolkVine. Later the website was hosted at the UO with a redesign by the library’s media management team. The fieldwork associated with the project expanded to other parts of China as relationships with other Chinese scholars developed. Students at the UO as well as the other partner universities participated. I also sponsored five visiting scholars from China, who participated in the project. Prior to the project’s conclusion in 2017, fieldwork partnerships included scholars from Beijing Normal University, Minzu University of China in Beijing, East China Normal University in Shanghai, and the University of Maine, resulting in fieldwork in Beijing, Shanghai, Yunnan, Hang Zhou, Inner Mongolia, Guizhou, and the Gerze Tibetan Autonomous District. Fieldwork and interpretation of materials for the website by Chinese and U.S. scholars emphasized presenting China’s cultural heritage with an emphasis on the people’s voice. Photos/Captions Figure 1. Yichien Cooper presents Doug Blandy with the 2022 AACIG Distinguished Researcher in Asian Art and Culture Education at the NAEA Convention in New York City.

Figure 2. Image courtesy of ChinaVine. Visit the updated website at offsite link.

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