Site-Image-Object: Rethinking Place in Chinese Visual and Material Culture

Julia Orell's picture
December 7, 2022 to December 9, 2022
British Columbia, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Asian History / Studies, Chinese History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies

Site-Image-Object: Rethinking Place in Chinese Visual and Material Culture

In-person conference, free and open to the public, University of British Columbia (UBC), December 7-9, 2022.

For further information about the conference program, paper abstracts and registration (required by November 30), please see the conference website:

The conference Site-Image-Object: Rethinking Place in Chinese Visual and Material Culture examines how place is shaped by artistic production, and how, at the same time, visual and material expressions shape place and its perception. “Place” here is not an existing given, to which art reacts or that it depicts; rather, we conceive of the interaction between place, its representations, its products, and its architectural framing as a continuously evolving process. Individual papers address visual representations of place in painting, print, maps, and photography; local products and architectural styles that carry imaginations about their place of origin as they circulate; and sites of religious and cultural significance as agents in artistic production. Considering questions of temporality, narrative, biography, sensory knowledge, remembrance, revival, geographical imagination, networks and circulation, the aim of the conference is to rethink approaches to Chinese landscapes, cityscapes, and religious topography.


Wednesday, December 7 (Lasserre Building, room 105)

3 pm: Welcome and Introduction

3:30 - 5:30 pm: Panel 1 - Place and Landscape

Elizabeth Kindall (Universtiy of St. Thomas): Sensory Knowledge and the Yandang Mountain Range

Helena Wu (UBC): The Worlds of Jianghu: Exploring the Place-Making Agency of an Imaginary Space

Thursday, December 8 (Lasserre Building, room 104)

9:30 am - 12:00: Panel 2 - Place and Time

Lihong Liu (University of Michigan): Spatiotemporal Traversality: Tiger Hill

Lei Xue (Oregon State University): Transforming an Immortal Landscape: Jiaoshan and its Pictorialization

Wen-shing Chou (Hunter College): Reimagining Tibet's India: The Place of Buddhist Origins in Qing China

3:00 - 5:30 pm: Panel 3 - Circulating the Local

Aurelia Campbell (Boston College): Dali Marble and Its Place in Ming and Qing Material Culture

Bruce Rusk (UBC): Oversees Overseas: Imperial Persons and Circulating Things in Some Ming-Qing Worlds

Yi Gu (University of Toronto): What a Chinese Village Should Look Like: Conversion to the Hui Style (gaihui) and Rural Reform

Friday, December 9 (Lasserre Building, room 104)

9:30 am - 12:00: Graduate Student Panel

Rui Ding (UBC): Food in the Context of State Power: Xuanzhou Pear in Ming State Official Offering

Haoyue Li (UBC): From Temporality to Spatiality: Incense-Seal Pictures in Late Imperial Texts

Niping Yan (UBC): Foreign Trade, Qing Diplomacy, and Export Paintings: Haichuang Temple of Canton in the Late Eighteenth Century

Irene Choi (UBC): Locating China in Nineteenth-Century Choson Paeknapto Screens

1:30 - 4 pm: Panel 4 -  Histories and Lifeworlds of Nanjing

Amy S. Huang (University of Iowa): Places to Remember: Huaigu-Literature and Conceptualizing Historic Sites

Catherine Stuer (Denison University): Water as Body, Street as Detour: Little Gazetteer of the Transportation Canal, Bridges, and Streets by Chen Zuolin (1837-1920)

Lisa Claypool (University of Alberta): A Glance at Nanjing

4:30 - 5:30 pm: Final Discussion


Contact Email: