Bridges, the least known and understood of China's many wonders, are one of its most striking and resilient feats of architectural prowess. Chinese Bridges brings together a thorough look at the marvels of Chinese bridge design from one of the world's leading experts on Chinese culture and historical geography, Ronald G. Knapp. While many consider bridges to be merely utilitarian civil engineering, the bridges of China move beyond that stereotype, as many are undeniably dramatic, even majestic and daring. Chinese Bridges illustrates in detail 20 well-preserved ancient bridges along with descriptions and essays on the distinctive architectural elements shared by the various designs. For the first time in an English-language book, Chinese Bridges records scores of newly discovered bridges across China's vast landscape, illustrated with over 400 color photographs, as well as woodblock prints, historic images, paintings and line drawings.
"This well-written, well-researched reference source brings together monastic life with particular attention to three traditions: Buddhist, Eastern Christian, and Western Christian."--"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2001.
Author: Professor and Chairman Department of Geography Ronald G Knapp
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
It has been said that for the Chinese "a house is a living symbol," one endowed with meaning and the result of conscious action. China's Living Houses is the first book in any language to explore comprehensively the extraordinarily complex links among folk beliefs and household ornamentation across time, space, and social class. Well-written and copiously illustrated, it reveals dwellings as dynamic entities that express the vitality of Chinese families as each journeys through life.
An unprecedented survey of the origins and evolution of Chinese architecture, from the last millennia BCE to today Throughout history, China has maintained one of the world’s richest built civilizations. The nation’s architectural achievements range from its earliest walled cities and the First Emperor’s vision of city and empire, to bridges, pagodas, and the twentieth-century constructions of the Socialist state. In this beautifully illustrated book, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt presents the first fully comprehensive survey of Chinese architecture in any language. With rich political and historical context, Steinhardt covers forty centuries of architecture, from the genesis of Chinese building through to the twenty-first century and the challenges of urban expansion and globalism. Steinhardt follows the extraordinary breadth of China’s architectural legacy—including excavation sites, gardens, guild halls, and relief sculpture—and considers the influence of Chinese architecture on Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Tibet. Architectural examples from Chinese ethnic populations and various religions are examined, such as monasteries, mosques, observatories, and tombs. Steinhardt also shows that Chinese architecture is united by a standardized system of construction, applicable whether buildings are temples, imperial palaces, or shrines. Every architectural type is based on the models that came before it, and principles established centuries earlier dictate building practices. China’s unique system has allowed its built environment to stand as a profound symbol of Chinese culture. With unprecedented breadth united by a continuous chronological narrative, Chinese Architecture offers the best scholarship available on this remarkable subject for scholars, students, and general readers.
Between the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 CE and the year 600, more than thirty dynasties, kingdoms, and states rose and fell on the eastern side of the Asian continent. The founders and rulers of those polities represented the spectrum of peoples in North, East, and Central Asia. Nearly all of them built palaces, altars, temples, tombs, and cities, and almost without exception, the architecture was grounded in the building tradition of China. Illustrated with more than 475 color and black-and-white photographs, maps, and drawings, Chinese Architecture in an Age of Turmoil uses all available evidence—Chinese texts, secondary literature in six languages, excavation reports, and most important, physical remains—to present the architectural history of this tumultuous period in China’s history. Its author, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, arguably North America’s leading scholar of premodern Chinese architecture, has done field research at nearly every site mentioned, many of which were unknown twenty years ago and have never been described in a Western language. The physical remains are a handful of pagodas, dozens of cave-temples, thousands of tombs, small-scale evidence of architecture such as sarcophaguses, and countless representations of buildings in paint and relief sculpture. Together they narrate an expansive architectural history that offers the first in-depth study of the development, century-by-century, of Chinese architecture of third through the sixth centuries, plus a view of important buildings from the two hundred years before the third century and the resolution of architecture of this period in later construction. The subtext of this history is an examination of Chinese architecture that answers fundamental questions such as: What was achieved by a building system of standardized components? Why has this building tradition of perishable materials endured so long in China? Why did it have so much appeal to non-Chinese empire builders? Does contemporary architecture of Korea and Japan enhance our understanding of Chinese construction? How much of a role did Buddhism play in construction during the period under study? In answering these questions, the book focuses on the relation between cities and monuments and their heroic or powerful patrons, among them Cao Cao, Shi Hu, Empress Dowager Hu, Gao Huan, and lesser-known individuals. Specific and uniquely Chinese aspects of architecture are explained. The relevance of sweeping—and sometimes uncomfortable—concepts relevant to the Chinese architectural tradition such as colonialism, diffusionism, and the role of historical memory also resonate though the book.
The tradition of Chinese wooden architecture dates back to ancient times. The construction solutions developed in this country over the centuries enchant with their refined character, while the historical wooden structures delight future generations with their dignity and aesthetic excellence. China`s wooden architecture, deeply rooted in its spiritual and religious traditions, is undoubtedly the pinnacle of this type of building in Asian culture. At the same time, it is a testimony to the national identity and reflects the specificity of the country`s material heritage. The accelerated social and economic changes in China and the constantly advancing globalization of the world have contributed to this country’s assimilation of Western concepts related to the protection of cultural heritage. The issue of authenticity in the preservation of wooden built heritage proved particularly problematic. This book brings closer the theoretical understanding and practical application of the idea of authenticity from Chinese perspective. To do this, the issue of living heritage and the reception and understanding of traditional Chinese wooden architecture and its preservation as a direct materialization of Chinese religious and philosophical traditions is discussed. The above topics are treated within the cyclic concept of time, i.e. in terms of progress and repetition, with preservation being understood as a religious practice. Finally, trends in the preservation of wooden heritage in present-day China are mentioned, including new attempts to interpret the tradition and the reinvention of the tradition of wooden building. The book aims to contribute to the understanding of the protection of wooden architectural heritage in China from a new perspective, and will be of particular interest to academics and professionals interested in or involved in the preservation of built wooden heritage. ‘(...) a highly valuable contribution to the field of wooden architecture protection and preservation’, Xiaoming Zhu (Tongji University, Shanghai, China) This book ‘(...) successfully explains the inheritance characteristics of Chinese wooden architectures from the perspective of cultural philosophy for a wide audience (...)’, Yasufumi Uekita, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
China is currently in the midst of an unprecedented building boom and, indeed, interest in Chinese contemporary architecture has been fuelled by this huge expansion. Through a cutting-edge theoretical discussion of Chinese architecture in relation to Chinese modernity, this book examines this phenomenon in detail. In particular, it highlights how changes in the social-political system, the residual influence of Mao and the demands of the market have each shaped and determined style and form in recent years. Using key case studies of Liu Jiakun, Cui Kai, and URBANUS, it analyses the intricate details of historical pressures and practical strategies affecting Chinese architecture. In doing so, it demonstrates that Chinese architects contribute in specific ways to the international architectural discourse, since they are actively engaging with the complex societal transition of contemporary China and managing the dynamics and conflicts arising during the process. China's Architecture in a Globalizing World: Between Socialism and the Market offers a lens into the innovation and uniqueness of architectural design in China. As such, this book will be useful for students and scholars of architecture, Chinese culture and society and urban studies.
Chinese Imperial City Planning is the first synthesis of what is known from textual and archaeological evidence about every Chinese imperial capital, from earliest times to the present. It explains the fundamental architectural principles and visual characteristics of imperial planning in China and shows how these features are related to the Chinese idea of rulership. The volume also reconstructs the 3,500-year-old history of imperial planning using sources such as resident descriptions, travel accounts, official Chinese court records, and the most recent archaeological and scholarly studies. The extensive documentation provides students with a standard source of reference from which to embark on further research on Chinese urban planning.
"From the Neolithic to the avant-garde, and through all the brilliant centuries in between, Michael Sullivan's introduction to Chinese art history is the classic in its field, unsurpassed in its clarity, balance, and sure grasp of the subject. Whether for the classroom student or the casual reader, its remarkable range and elegant style make this book a wonderful way for anyone to begin learning about Chinese art."—Jerome Silbergeld, Princeton University "I have used Sullivan's Arts of China in my class for thirty years. No other historian of Chinese art today commands such a wide range of knowledge as Michael Sullivan."—Richard Barnhart, Yale University, editor of Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting "After more than forty years since its first publication, Michael Sullivan's Arts of China, now in its fifth edition, remains the most concise yet most comprehensive introduction to the history of Chinese art to students and the public."—Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago "Michael Sullivan is the acknowledged dean of modern Chinese art studies, and any work bearing his name guarantees both a high level of quality and a wide readership."—Maxwell K. Hearn, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Publisher: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press
Building in China is about striking an architectural balance between the pull of monumental tradition and the push of technological novelty. Centering on the dynamic period of post-imperial and pre-Communist China, the book focuses on the building and city planning initiatives of Henry Murphy, a little-known American architect who initially ventured to China in 1914 to design a campus for the Yale-in-China programme, but who then found himself captivated by a professional and cultural challenge that lasted two decades: how to preserve China's rich architectural traditions while also designing new buildings using up-to-date Western technologies. Murphy's buildings were compromises — " wine in old bottles" as he once called them — and the book uses those "tles" as lenses through which to understand not only Murphy's quest to find a middle ground for his architecture in China, but also to gaze at a tumultuous society facing an uncertain future. Murphy's buildings were more than vessels for either aesthetic visions or technical expertise; inadvertently they became political emblems, as Chinese rulers such as Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen's son called on Murphy for city planning advice to complement their hopes for urban reconstruction. There are few serious studies of Western architects in the twentieth century who practiced in non-Western contexts, and those scant studies that have been published concentrate largely on British, French or Dutch examples in colonial settings. Hence, the book makes significant contributions to the fields of both American and Chinese architectural history.