Participants in the Second Tomb Art Conference in 2011
The ThirdInternational Conference on Ancient Tomb Art
Organizers: Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago
School of the Humanities, Central Academy of Fine Arts
Center for Visual Studies, Peking University
Assistant Organizer：Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House
Place: Chicago University Center in Beijing
Time: August 16-18, 2013
The conference will be held on August 16th-18th 2013, at the University of Chicago’s Center in Beijing. It is the third in a sequence of conferences held biennially on the art of tombs, the longest and most deeply rooted ritual art tradition in pre-modern China. This is a vital and growing field of study both in the sense of the increasing materials available from archeological activity and in the multi-disciplinary scholarship that it has inspired.
Zheng Yan at the Second International Tomb Art Conference
Chinese tomb art possesses the richest archaeological information, extending over the longest temporal duration and geographical span of any of the world’s art traditions. As a synthetic visual system, its components include architecture, objects, painting, sculpture, decoration, burial equipment, calligraphy, clothing, and the treatment of the body. Supported by major archeological discoveries in recent decades, the study of ancient Chinese tomb art has expanded into an international arena. Because of this the Peking University, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, and the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago have organized an initiative to address these cultural materials in a series of international conferences to be held in China. Subjects of research include both general historical trends and specific cases; at the same time, there is strong interest growing in analytical and interpretative methods. The purpose of this conference, like the two before it, is to provide an international and multi-disciplinary platform for increased scholarly communication and understanding based on evidential research, as well as serious reflection and discussion of analytical methodologies. It is hoped that the combination of these two directions will further develop this field.
The project for collaborative scholarly research and sharing of information was introduced in 2009. The two chief organizers of the first International Conference on Ancient Tomb Art were Wu Hung, representing the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago, and Zheng Yan, representing the School of Humanities at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. After the first conference a meeting of the participants decided to develop a biannual series of conferences to provide a regular channel for scholarly exchanges in this emerging field of interdisciplinary study and for publication of the resulting papers. The first volume of papers resulting from the 2009 conference was released by Wenwu (Cultural Relics) Press, the best Chinese publisher of ancient art and archaeology, just in time for the conference of 2011.
LaoZhu speaks at the Second International Tomb Art Conference.
The organizers of the 2011 conference, like that planned for 2013 represent three major academic institutions, University of Chicago, Peking University, and the Central Academy of Arts. In addition to Wu Hung and Zheng Yan, the chief organizers also include Professor Zhu Qingsheng, Director of the Center of Visual Studies at Peking University. The 2011 conference, held at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, had a capacity audience of students and other scholars.
For the conference to be held in 2013, we plan to focus on five general topics: (1) funerary art in its ritual context; (2) evidence of Buddhist and Taoist in funerary art; (3) cultural interactions in funerary art; (4) new archaeological excavations and case studies; and (5) comparative studies on funerary art. The conference will take 3 days, including five panels and a round-table discussion. We expect to have 20-22 speakers, about half from China and half from other countries.