Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4.5
Hours: 4 lecture, 1.5 laboratory per week (66 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ART 12.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will be able to analyze Buddhist iconography and recognize specific aspects/attributes of the Buddha when he is portrayed in art.
  • A successful student will be able to demonstrate the ability to assemble a suitable bibliography to support the required research paper.


An introduction to the art of India, China, and Japan from the Neolithic Age to the present, covering painting, sculpture, architecture, and ceramics. This course emphasizes the cultural, social, and historical meaning of art and traces the changes in style, meaning, and use of art within the broader context of the great religious traditions of China, Japan, and India.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the artistic traditions of India, China, and Japan
  2. Describe and discuss the intellectual, social, and political history of China, Japan, and India
  3. Contrast the similarities and differences in the art styles of India, China, and Japan
  4. Analyze the history of cultural exchanges between China, Japan, and India
  5. Name the major historical styles and periods in Chinese art
  6. Name the major historical styles in Japanese art
  7. Name the major historical styles in Indian art
  8. Compare the artistic traditions of Asia with those of the West
  9. Analyze Buddhist iconography and recognize specific aspects/attributes of the Buddha when he is portrayed in art
  10. Propose a socio-economic and aesthetic context for Chinese painting of the Song dynasty in relation to a stratified Confucian society with a highly educated elite
  11. Demonstrate how Japanese artistic influences helped transform Western art and architecture in the late 19th century
  12. Recognize and interpret key symbols in Hindu iconography
  13. Recognize and understand important artistic concepts/terms in the Sanskrit, Hindi, Japanese, and Chinese languages
  14. Identify and evaluate similarities between the great religious traditions of India, Japan, and China

Course Content

  1. Ancient Asian civilizations: similarities and differences
    1. The Indus Valley: Mohenjo-daro and Harappa cultures
    2. The Yellow River Valley: Neolithic, Shang, and Chou periods
    3. The Yamate Plain: Paleolithic to the Kofun period
  2. Buddhist art: an international style
    1. The development of Buddhism and early Buddhist art in India
    2. Greco-Roman influence in early Buddhist images
    3. Expansion of Buddhism and Buddhist art to China
    4. The development of Mahayana Buddhism
    5. The great Buddhist caves: Tun-huang, Lung-men, Yun-kang
    6. Buddhist art of Japan
    7. The Buddhist temple complex at Nara
  3. The development of Hindu art and architecture
    1. Hindu mythology
    2. The evolution of Hindu temples: Khajuraho and Bhuvaneshvura
    3. The development of Hindu sculpture
  4. The development of Chinese painting and ceramics
    1. Relationship of painting to other arts: poetry, calligraphy, and literature
    2. Evolution of style and subject matter and aesthetic principles
    3. The development of Chinese ceramics
  5. The development of Japanese painting, ceramics, and printmaking
    1. Japanese narrative scroll paintings: Yamato-e
    2. Japanese screen paintings
    3. The role of the tea ceremony and the development of ceramics
    4. The development of printmaking: Ukiyo-e images
  6. The artist's profession
    1. The social position of the artist and their role in society
    2. The artist's position in the East compared to the West
  7. The meeting of Eastern and Western art
    1. European influence on the arts of China and Japan
    2. Asian influence on the arts of Europe
  8. The arts of China, Japan, and India in the Colonial Era
  9. Contemporary art in China, Japan, and India
    1. Themes in modern Asian art (capitalism, tradition, cultural change)

Lab Content

Lab activities are provided for students to practice visual literacy and critical thinking skills through the synthesis of content from the lecture, posted videos, and assigned readings through written responses to weekly prompts related to specific works of art and or architecture. Students practice visual literacy skills through observation, description, analysis, and interpretation within the artwork's specific historical and cultural context using the language of visual analysis (formal elements and principles of design), technique, and genre. When appropriate students practice the application of theoretical frameworks (biography, Marxism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Modernism, Postmodernism, Post-colonialism, Structuralism, etc. ) regarding each topic area.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Slide collection and projection equipment adequate for the lectures on the subject.
2. Access to the Artstor online image archive. Classroom must be internet connected and provided with digital projector, DVD player, and VHS player.
3. When taught via Foothill Global Access, ongoing access to a computer with email address, software and hardware, and internet.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Two midterm examinations
Final examination (midterms and final include slide identification, short answer and essay questions)
Research paper
Three research activity assignments based on library research modules
Weekly moderated online discussions

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cooperative learning exercises
Oral presentations
Independent study
Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Neave, Dorinda, Lara C.W. Blanchard, Marika Sardar, and Miranda Bruce Mitford. Asian Art. 2014.

Although this textbook is older than five years, it is a seminal text for this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Approximately one chapter of text (40-60 pages) per week
  2. Primary/secondary source reading from handouts
  3. 7-8 page paper prepared using the MLA format and researched using primary and secondary sources only
  4. Primary and secondary source readings for the research paper
  5. Three research activity assignments based on library instructional research modules
  6. Essay and short answer responses for all three exams


Art History