Zhihua Temple & Ming-Qing Buddhist Monastic Art and Culture
March 9-10, 2019
University of Chicago Center in Beijing
The Zhihua Temple, located inside the Lumicang Hutong in the east of Beijing, completed in the ninth year of the Zhengtong reign (1444), has been damaged over the centuries but is still one of the best-preserved Ming Buddhist temples in China. In 1961, the Zhihuasi was included in the first list of the national important cultural relics and has undergone several renovations. However, the elaborate wooden ceilings that were sold and taken out of China in the 1930s are now in museums in the U.S. Since 2011, research and digital imaging projects have provided better and more detailed materials for understanding the temple’s history and former appearance. In October 2017, a planning workshop, entitled “Beijing Zhihuasi: A Historical Reconstruction and Future Visions,” was organized by the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago. As the workshop drew a great deal of attention from scholars of various fields, a conference co-organized by the Center for Buddhist Art at Zhejiang University and the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University. The conference at the UChicago Beijing Center invited an international group of expand on the research effort. This has served to better locate the Zhihuasi’s position in the broader picture of the Ming-Qing Buddhist Monastic art and culture. At the same time the CAEA is pursuing a digital reconstruction project of the Zhihuasi in collaboration with The Department of Art, Xi’an Jiaotong University.