Jeehee Hong

Associate Professor
Gretta Chambers Chair in East Asian Art History

Jeehee Hong is a specialist in the ritual art and visual cultures of middle-period China (ninth to fourteenth century CE). Her first book, Theater of the Dead: A Social Turn in Chinese Funerary Art, 1000–1400 (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2016), explores complex intersections of the visual, mortuary, and everyday worlds, and demonstrates a new phase in the conception of the netherworld and the practice of ancestral worship in China at the beginning of the second millennium. She is currently working on three main topics; the first project engages the ontological understanding of the face as a field of negotiations among social, religious, visual conventions in the visual arts of middle-period China; the second investigates changing epistemology of sense perceptions in the visual field from early to middle period; the third is a collaborative effort to probe the boundaries and locality of visual cultures in medieval and middle-period China. Her research questions bring together various mediums and formal categories of art, often inspired by cross-cultural phenomena in the visual world.

Selected Publications


Theater of the Dead: A Social Turn in Chinese Funerary Art, 1000-1400 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2016)


“Le chagrin, la pierre, et l’argile. Images du deuil dans la Chine médiéval” (Tears of Stone and Clay: The Affect of Mourning Images in Middle-Period China), Diogenes, vols. 254-255, no.2 (2016, published in 2018).

"Crafting Boundaries of the Unseeable World: Dialectics of Space in Bhagavat Sutra Repository,” Art History, vol. 40, issue 1 (2017).

“Unwritten Life (and Death) of a “Pharmacist” in Song China: Decoding Hancheng Tomb Murals,” Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, vol. 24 (2015). Co-authored with TJ Hinrichs.

"Mechanism of Life for the Netherworld: Transformations of Mingqi in Middle-Period China," Journal of Chinese Religions, vol. 43, no. 2 (2015)." (Translated into Chinese and published in Yishushi yanjiu (The Study of Art History) vol. 18 (2017).

“Changing Roles of the Tomb Portrait: Burial Practices and Ancestral Worship of Non-Literati Elite in North China (1000-1400),” Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, vol. 44 (2014).

Exorcism from the Streets to the Tomb: An Image of the Judge and Minions in the Xuanhua Liao Tomb No. 7,Archives of Asian Art, vol. 63, no. 1 (2013)

“Virtual Theater of the Dead: Actor Figurines and Their Stage in Houma Tomb No.1, Shanxi Province,” Artibus Asiae, vol. 71, no. 1, (2011)

“Theatricalizing Death and Society in The Skeletons’ Illusory Performance by Li Song,” The Art Bulletin, vol. 93, no. 1 (March 2011)


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