Arts and Culture
The panel consists of four papers, which reconsiders multi-dimensionalurban spaces of the pleasure-quarters, the scenic sites, the temple, and the imperial architecture for amusement respectively, during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, by using the art-historical approach. It will involve the examination of paintings, woodblock illustrations, architecture, and steles. It will concernfour different cities or regions: Nanjing, Suzhou, Dengfeng, and Beijing. It will spark discussions about how visual sources shape spaces, whether a space for a specific occasion or activity, a cityscape, a culture, a period, a historical episode, or a memory. It also investigates how pictorial space or object’s space engaged with the architectural space through case studies.
WANG Yizhou considers the dynamic image-making process concerning various images of courtesans in the Ming Dynasty, which constructed a floating feminine space of entertainment and sensuality in Nanjing from the fifteenth century up to the seventeenth-century “golden age” of courtesan culture. LI You focuses on the pictorial representations of Suzhou scenic sites to discuss the changing functions and cultural meanings of topographical landscape painting and its use in shaping the local identity of touristic urban spaces during the Ming era. SUN Shaobo, by using stele materials, reexamines the cultural image of the Shaolin Temple beyond the commonly discussed kungfu and commercial aspects within the dual space of the temple and the Dengfeng region (Henan province) since the mid-Ming period. WU Tao provides a case study of the Lingzhao Pavilion in the Qing-era Forbidden City of Beijing, and she will elaborate how the European architectural techniques were transformed in the construction to create a transmundane space within the imperial palace.As a whole, this panel intends to show how individual objects in their life-circles function as agents in the human practice of shaping urban spaces.