Wesleyan portrait of Patrick  Dowdey

Patrick Dowdey

Visiting Scholar in East Asian Studies


BA University of Pennsylvania
MA University of California, Los Angeles
PHD University of California, Los Angeles

Patrick Dowdey

Patrick Dowdey is currently working on Experiencing Life: The Sichuan Artists Association and Woodcut in China.

The Sichuan Artists Association was one of the most prominent artists groups in China, famous for their black and white character studies of ethnic peoples and development of the water ink woodcut technique. This ethnography traces their place in the development of Modern Woodcut in China by following the life of Li Huanmin from his childhood in occupied Beijing, education at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, his multiple long trips to Tibet beginning in 1953, his contributions to development of the collective work style at the Artists Association and his rise to prominence in the Chinese art world before the Cultural Revolution. Li's leadership in the Artists Association contributed to the great expansion of Chinese art during the Reform and Opening Up period and forms a background to his own return to creative work including multiple awards, publications, travel abroad and acquisition of his works by prominent public collections in China and internationally

Lectures and Conferences

November 2018

Presented paper, "The Kings of Derge and the Derge Parkhang" at the Eighth International Conference on the Tusi System and Culture at Zunyi Normal University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China

Spoke on Li Huanmin and Experiencing Life at Opening Colloquium of Song of the Snowland: Li Huanmin's Art at Art Musuem of Beijing Fine Art Academy, Beijing, China

Delivered lectures to Chinese History, Society and Tourism Department at Zunyi Normal University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China

"Two Ethnographic Exhibitions in Los Angeles" (to students) and "Louisa Schein on Consumption, Cosmpolititanism and Ethnic identity" (to faculty)

Delivered lecture at Southwest Univeristy for Nationalities, Chengdu Sichuan on "Comparison of Anthroplogical and Documentary Films on China"

All of these papers were presented in Chinese

April, 2018

Delivered lectures in Chinese at the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, Sichuan on:

A Short Introduction to Visual Anthropology

The Volunteer Response to the Sichuan Earthquake and Its Aftermath

November, 2017

Presented Opening Remarks and Paper at The Seventh International Conference on the Tusi System and Tusi Culture, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu, Sichuan

Delivered lectures in Chinese at the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, Sichuan on:

The Derge Sutra Printing House

Development of Museums in the West

Ways to Understand Art Worlds

Patrick Dowdey works on contemporary Chinese society and culture with a focus on contemporary art. He maintains an active program of long term field research in Western China based in Sichuan and including Eastern Tibet. He has curated numerous exhibitions on East Asian art and culture. Other research topics include art worlds, museums and the creation of knowledge and visual anthropology. He is an accomplished photographer, designer and videographer.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Office hours upon request, please contact through email.