The Humble Iron Painter: Literati Representations of Tang Peng and Tiehua in Qing-Era Jiangnan
Kyle’s capstone project at McDaniel College built upon his earlier research on Chinese iron painting, known as tiehua. Taking a new perspective, he looked the cultural and governmental forces behind poems that educated elites (literati) wrote about tiehua and its creator, Tang Peng. Among his findings are that new restrictions on speech and poem writing in the Qing Dynasty led the literati to use Tang Peng as a reference point to discretely talk about themselves and that a culture of plenty prompted many elites to reflect on their regional pride and tastes in art through tiehua. These forces ultimately contributed to the folklorization of Tang Peng, with many fictional alterations occurring through centuries of poetry and legend.