Quincy Ngan

Photo of Quincy Ngan
Visiting Assistant Professor
208 ABW
Academic Areas: 
Research Interests: 
Art of pre-modern East Asia, Chinese painting, the materiality of colors and pigments, the representation of skin in Asian art, and race, gender, and sexuality in East Asia

Quincy will receive his doctorate in art history from the University of Chicago in 2016. Titled “The Materiality of Azurite Blue and Malachite Green in the Age of the Chinese Colorist Qiu Ying (ca. 1498–ca.1552),” his dissertation explores the materiality of pigment in traditional Chinese painting. It focuses on the mineral azurite blue and its congenital counterpart, malachite green—two of the most versatile, expensive, and age-old colors in the history of Chinese art. It investigates how the production and circulation of azurite and malachite, as well as any point of view about the two minerals, enhanced the depth of meaning in pictorial motifs and subject matters. Exploring these issues through a case study, his dissertation focused on the famous but understudied colorist Qiu Ying, whose oeuvre consisted chiefly of landscape and figure paintings made with azurite and malachite. A simplified version of a chapter in his dissertation is published in the National Palace Museum Monthly. He is currently revising his dissertation into a book.

Focusing on the representation of skin in East Asia, Quincy’s second research project explores the relationship between a bright, light complexion and the social status of women in traditional China. He is also interested in the work of the contemporary Chinese artist Xiang Jing (b. 1968). He was able to interview Xiang, resulting in a dialogue on the surrealistic skin colors of her figure sculptures. The bilingual interview is published on the artist’s website.

During his time in the University of Chicago, he participated in the Digital Scrolling Painting Project, an online teaching website, and the Tianlongshan Cave exhibition project, which uses 3-D technology to reconstruct the original Buddhist site.