Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
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:
A. Demonstrate an understanding of the artistic traditions of India, China, and Japan.
B. Describe and discuss the intellectual, social, and political history of China, Japan, and India.
C. Contrast the similarities and differences in the art styles of India, China, and Japan.
D. Analyze the history of cultural exchanges between China, Japan, and India.
E. Name the major historical styles and periods in Chinese art.
F. Name the major historical styles in Japanese art.
G. Name the major historical styles in Indian art.
H. Compare the artistic traditions of Asia with those of the West.
I. Analyze Buddhist iconography and recognize specific aspects/attributes of the Buddha when he is portrayed in art.
J. 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.
K. Demonstrate how Japanese artistic influences helped transform Western art and architecture in the late 19th century.
L. Recognize and interpret key symbols in Hindu iconography.
M. Recognize and understand important artistic concepts/terms in the Sanskrit, Hindi, Japanese, and Chinese languages.
N. Identify and evaluate similarities between the great religious traditions of India, Japan, and China.

Course Content

The following content is delivered via Lecture (Lec) in the scheduled class sessions unless otherwise stated.
A. 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
B. 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
C. 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
D. 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
E. 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
F. The Artist's Profession
1. The social position of the artist and his/her role in society
2. The artist's position in the East compared to the West
G. 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
H. The Arts of China, Japan, and India in the Colonial Era
I. Contemporary art in China, Japan, and India
1. Themes in modern Asian art (capitalism, tradition, cultural change)

Lab Content

A. The lab consists of eight weekly instructor-proctored discussion sessions held via Etudes online.
B. In addition, each student will attend a library orientation/term paper introduction in the library with the instructor (there are 7-8 sessions scheduled each quarter).
C. Finally, every student will prepare and present a seminar. The seminar sessions require the students to present their material to the instructor outside of class time. All lab activity attendance (discussions/library orientation/seminar) is recorded and graded.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

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

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Two midterm examinations
B. Final examination (midterms and final include slide identification, short answer and essay questions)
C. Research paper
D. Seminar
E. Moderated online discussions

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Oral presentations
E. Independent study
F. Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Lee, Sherman E. A History of Far Eastern Art. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams, 2003.

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.


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

A. Approximately one chapter of text (40-60 pages) per week.

B. Primary/secondary source reading from handouts.

C. A 7-8 page paper prepared using the MLA format and researched using primary and secondary sources only.

D. Primary and secondary source readings for the seminar assignment and term paper.

E. Essay and short answer responses for all three exams.