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Unfolding the Principle of Color Decoration in Yingzao Fashi, a 12th Century’s Chinese Imperial Building Standard

A talk by Luke Li, Tsinghua University, Beijing on May 20th, 2013.

 

The Building StandardYingzao fashi of 12th-century, is one of the oldest surviving manual on buildings. It was considered a key document on Chinese architecture. This document has been studied by many eminent Chinese architectural historians, but generally from the point of view of construction, whereas the aspect on colored decoration has usually been overlooked. Nonetheless, without a deep understanding of the decoration, we cannot really grasp the whole picture of Song Dynasty buildings, let alone its aesthetics, even though some of them have survived.
In her talk, Professor Li will share some findings from her recently published book, “Chinese Colored Decoration in Yingzao fashi 營造法式.” She will unfold the formerly neglected aspects of this classic document and discuss the following questions:

- What is Yingzao fashi and how to read it?

- What does Yingzao Fashi tell us about colored decoration?

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