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Guest Lecture - "Yungang Grottoes and the Tuoba Kingship" by Prof. Tseng Chin-Yin
Seminar / Lecture
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, Global Affairs Office
Prof. Tseng Chin-Yin
19 Outubro 2015
17:00 - 18:30
E4-1051, Anthony Lau Building
Located in the vicinity of Datong, Shanxi province, the Yungang grottoes is the embodiment of a new imperial commemorative tradition that represented new notions of Tuoba kingship in the Northern Wei Pingcheng period (398-494 CE). With the creation of larger than life sized stone sculptures, Yungang was an imperial monument that combined a Chinese interest in commemoration of ancestors with the Western application of images. Being a “teaching by images”, the Buddhist “techno-complex” brought with it an entirely new package of visual designs and material forms from as far west as Western Asia, which was fully explored, as a new set of cultural vocabulary for this to happen. As such, the impact of Buddhism on the visual culture of China is an example of how new practices and ways of seeing the world could be introduced and integrated into a host culture. Moreover, under the Northern Wei statehood, the conflict of loyalties between monastic and state power was resolved by merging the identities in the entity of the emperor, as he came to be regarded as a Buddha incarnate. Finally, the combination of stone sculptures, mountain-side carvings and decorative architectural sets produced a new type of discourse through which the Tuoba sovereigns could convey their imperial agency.