A three-day international symposium on traditional Chinese architecture will be held July 23-25 at Vanderbilt University in Cohen Memorial Hall. The aim of the Senior Academics Forum on Traditional Chinese Architectural History is to advance the study of Chinese architectural history and forge connections between scholars of Chinese architecture across the globe.
“The history of Chinese architecture is a young but increasingly vibrant and important field, and forums such as this are vital to furthering the study and ensuring the protection of this important cultural tradition,” said Tracy Miller, associate professor of history of art, who organized and coordinated the event.
Professor Wang Guixiang of Tsinghua University, Beijing, PRC, and Professor Guo Qinghua of the University of Melbourne, Australia, established the forum only three years ago. Their goal was to bring the study of traditional Chinese architecture, the “classical” architecture of pre-modern East Asia, onto the global stage by providing a regular forum for the most active scholars in the field to gather and discuss their current research. Because each scholar is given 30-45 minutes to present his or her material to a small audience of experts, the level of scholarship and open discussion far surpasses the experience at larger conferences. The first of the meetings was held in October 2012 at the University of Melbourne and the second in December 2013 at Kinki University in Osaka, Japan.
To ensure that the results of the forum have an extended scholarly reach, the best essays presented will be considered for publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Chinese Architecture History (Zhongguo jianzhu shilun huikan) published by Tsinghua University, who is the official co-organizer of the forum. Other sponsors are Vanderbilt University, College of Arts and Science, Department of History of Art, Asian Studies Program, Office of Arts and Campus Events, and Fine Arts Gallery.
This year in addition to the forum there will be an exhibition of 100 photographs from the “Snow Draft Ingenuity in Craft: Traditional Chinese Architecture Photography Competition「雪花純生匠心營造」中國古建築攝影大賽.” Examples from each of the eight competition categories will be on view from July 22-31 on the first and second floors of Cohen Memorial Hall, the Sarratt Student Center box office, and the atrium of Buttrick Hall.
Viewing hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 pm; Saturday (Cohen Hall only), 1-5 p.m.; closed Sunday.
The exhibit is sponsored by China Resources Snow Breweries and Tsinghua University School of Architecture, Beijing, and Vanderbilt’s Department of History of Art, Office of Arts & Campus Events, and Fine Arts Gallery.
For more information on the forum and photography exhibition, see the forum website: https://my.vanderbilt.edu/safcah/
*Both images are examples from the “vernacular architecture” division of the Snow Breweries competition.