Winston C Kyan portrait
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Asian Studies
  • Associate Professor, Art/Art History Department


  • PhD, Art History, University of Chicago
  • MA, Art History, University of Chicago
  • BA, Comparative Literature, Brown University

Selected Publications

Book Manuscript (in progress)

Repaying Kindness: Filial Piety and Buddhist Art in Medieval China


Articles, Chapters, Essays (2010-2016)

Buddhism-Inspired Contemporary Art and Zhang Huan’s Pagoda (2009).” Art Journal Open (5,201 words, under review).


“Female Bodily Sacrifice and the Absence of Men: Representing Filial Offspring in Song, Jin, and Liao Tombs,” in Refiguring East Asian Religious Art: Buddhist Devotion and Ancestor Veneration. Chicago: Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago; and Art Media Resources, 2016. Accepted and in copy editing stage. 12,916 words.


“Folklore and the Visual Culture of Burmese America: Domestic Buddhist Practices and the Dhammananda Monastery,” in Asian American Identities and Practices: Folkloric Expressions in Everyday Life, edited by Jonathan H.X. Lee and Kathleen Nadeau, 15-25. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield, 2014.


“Ancestor Portraits in Mogao Cave 231, Dunhuang, Gansu Province, People’s Republic of China.” Object Narrative, Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion, Yale University. Sally Promey, director. Peer reviewed website (posted December, 2013, 1,147 words.


“Electric Pagodas and Hyphenate Gates: Folklore, Folklife, and the Architecture of Chinatown,” Amerasia Journal 39: 2 (July 2013): 25-47.


“Picturing Childhood in Chinese Buddhism: The Sujati Jataka in Text and Image.” In Little Buddhas, edited by Vanessa Sasson, 157-182. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.


Zhang Huan: 49 Days. Text by Winston Kyan, 5-8. Los Angeles: Blum and Poe, 2011. 


“Folklore and Asian American Visual Culture.” In Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife (3 vols.), edited by Jonathan H.X. Lee and Kathleen Nadeau, (vol. 1) 54-58. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO /Greenwood Press, 2011.


“Family Space: Buddhist Materiality and Ancestral Fashioning in Mogao Cave 231,” The Art Bulletin 92, nos. 1-2 (March/June 2010): 61-82.


“Artist, System, Culture – On the Anthropology of Contemporary Chinese Art: An Interview with Wu Hung,” Yishu: A Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 9, no. 2 (March/April 2010): 65-73.


Book Reviews

Review of Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society, and Self in Classical China, by Martin J. Powers. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Asia Center, 2006. In Journal of Asian Studies 68, no. 1, (February 2009): 277-278.


Review of Reinventing the Wheel: Paintings of Rebirth in Medieval Buddhist Temples, by Stephen F. Teiser. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007. In (posted January 31, 2008):


Review of Mirror of Morality: Chinese Narrative Illustration and Confucian Ideology, by Julia K. Murray. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2007. In Journal of Chinese Religions, no. 35 (2007): 178-180.