Lan Xiao

lan xiao


DPhil Student

St Cross College

Thesis: Material Culture of Domestic Space in Contemporary Urban China: Aesthetics and Everyday Practices (working title).

Research: My doctoral research aims to provide a comprehensive and reflective understanding of the contemporary urban Chinese society through examining the domestic material aesthetics and practices of its inhabitants. This research attempts to discuss how aesthetics and everyday practices transform and its implication to the inter-cultural encounter of foreign aesthetics or lifestyles through modernisation and globalisation. I also want to provide a new angle to the understanding of urban identity, as well as to uncover how people create lives and meanings for themselves through material practices such as consumption and domestic display. Home is the space of self-experience and identity negotiation through embodied material engagement. By focusing on the domestic material culture, the research will bring theoretical concepts into proximity with mundane everyday life to provoke critical reflection and insights upon the society that one inhabits in. And ultimately, try to comprehend what “modern Chineseness” means.

Research interests: Material anthropology; museum studies; material culture in domestic space; the nature of curiosity; collecting; art and aesthetics