Qiao Hu

Research title

Materiality, Visuality, and Spatiality of Incense Culture in Ming Dynasty China

Research summary

The Ming dynasty enjoyed a high level of literati culture. The special recreation of practicing and appreciating incense was expressed widely in both textual and visual representations in this dynasty. Censers, incense boxes and other utensils exhibit the delicate life of Ming elites as well. My research will not present only the history of incense, nor a survey of incense practice. I would like to examine the materiality and visuality of incense culture in late imperial China. Incense culture is a unique material culture, with a combination of materiality, visuality, and human involvement/experience. As a result, exploration of the historical discourses of incense culture and its context is not enough. I intend to further the discussion of incense culture from the perspective of postmodern visual culture. Moreover, I hope my research will offer the historical origins of the current renaissance of incense culture in China.


Griselda Pollock, Differencing the Canon: Feminism and the Histories of Art. Trans. Qiao Hu and Jin Yingcun, Nanjing: Jiangsu Fine Arts Press. Upcoming.

Video Editor and Contributor, Discover Jiang Feng: Centennial Exhibitions of Documents. Nanjing: Jiangsu Fine Arts Press, 2013.

Qiao Hu, ‘Survey of Chinese Oil Painting 2008.’ Annual of Contemporary Art China 2008. Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2010, p2-6.


  • Participating in the Pre-Congress Meeting of CIHA 2016, funded by the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust, 2015.

Additional information


Qiao Hu, ‘The Baker’s Commemorative Monument: The Tomb of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces.’ Image and Word: The Fourth International Graduate Symposium of Art History, Peking University, Beijing, Oct. 11-13, 2013. 

Roundtable Exploration on Chinese Art and Culture, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, US, April 8, 2013


Junior Chair of the 34th Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art (CIHA)