Vorträge & Tagungen



Public lecture
Illuminating Genji: Reading the World's First Novel in Text and Image

Prof. Dr. Melissa McCormick (Harvard University)

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 18:00–19:00
Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zurich, KOL-G-217

The Tale of Genji, written by the court lady Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, inspired art works of tremendous variety throughout Japanese history. In this talk, Melissa McCormick discusses strategies for reading the tale today using highlights from an exhibition that she guest curated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in Spring 2019. The exhibition traced the tale’s cultural legacy over one thousand years, displaying more than 120 objects from collections in Japan and the United States. Central points to be examined in the lecture include new ways of interpreting the female authorship of the tale, Genji's relationship to Buddhism, and the political uses of Genji imagery from the medieval to the modern era. 

HS19 McCormick flyer (PDF, 304 KB)

The lecture will be held in English and is open to the public. 

For questions, please contact the Section for East Asian Art History: kgoa@khist.uzh.ch


Public lecture:
Research of East Asian Collections in Slovene Museums
Tina Berdajs (PhD Candidate, University of Ljubljana)

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 17:00–18:00
Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich, RAA-G-15

During the last few decades, numerous studies of collections and individual objects have been carried out across Europe, but studies in this field within the Eastern European and Balkan region are still quite rare. In June 2018, a three-year research project began in Slovenia. Entitled East Asian Collections in Slovenia: Integration of the Slovene Territory in the Global Exchange of Objects and Ideas with East Asia, it is based on the exploration and reconstruction of intercultural contacts between Slovenia and East Asia through research of the collections of East Asian art and other materials located and kept in various Slovenian museums and institutions. 

According to current research, there are nineteen different Slovene East Asian collections, housing various individual objects of East Asian origin. During research on East Asian art collections and their collectors, including their collecting practices and general attitudes towards East Asia, many problems arose concerning the identification and treatment of East Asian objects in the absence of specific knowledge, insufficient or incorrect museum documentation, and lack of general basic information on the topic. 

One of the biggest collections of East Asian art in Slovenia will be the focus of the presentation, namely, the collection of East Asian ceramics at the National Museum of Slovenia. This collection consists of more than 250 ceramics of great variety in types and origins. It is part of a greater collection of ceramics held at the National Museum of Slovenia, and its acquisition touches on a delicate matter of the so-called “Federal Collection Centers” and the post-World War II confiscation of property by the army and government forces. The greater part of the collection came to the museum via these channels and the provenances of many objects are still labeled as “unknown” due to this sensitive aspect of Slovenia’s history. 

FS19 Berdajs flyer (PDF, 329 KB)

The lecture will be held in English and is open to the public. 

For questions, please contact the Section for East Asian Art History: kgoa@khist.uzh.ch


Ein Abend mit...Kei Chikaura
Guest appearance of the director of "Complicity", which will be shown as the opening film during the Ginmaku Japanese Film Festivals on 22nd May 2019.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 18:30 (followed by a reception)
Rämistrasse 71, 8001 Zurich, KOL-F-104

Kei Chikaura hat seine Karriere als Filmemacher 2013 begonnen. Sein zweiter Kurzfilm „The Lasting Persimmon” wurde für das Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2016 nominiert. In der Auswahl für das Locarno International Film Festival und das Toronto International Film Festival 2017 stand sein dritter Kurzfilm „Signature“. Er gewann den Grand Prix beim Encounters Film Festival 2017. 

FS19 Kei Chikaura flyer (PDF, 298 KB)

The lecture and discussion will be held in English and is open to the public. 

For questions, please contact the Section for East Asian Art History: kgoa@khist.uzh.ch


Public lecture and book presentation:
Following the Footprints of Calligrapher-Monk Seng'an Daoyi (act. ca. 562–580)

Elisabeth A. Jung Lu (Independent Scholar, Hangzhou)

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 17:00–18:00
Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich, RAA-G-15

The calligrapher-monk Seng’an Daoyi is a somewhat mysterious figure. He had close relationships to powerful members of the political elite of the Northern Qi dynasty (550–577), but he is not recorded in any historical sources. Propagating his Buddhist teachings by means of calligraphy inscribed and carved onto cliff walls and big rocks, thus transforming the natural mountain scenery into eternal sacred places, Seng’an Daoyi left behind the most extensive remaining work of a known early calligrapher. His contemporaries credited him with extraordinary aesthetic achievement and even judged his calligraphic skills as surpassing those of the four towering masters of the Han, Wei, and Eastern Jin periods: Wei Dan, Zhang Zhi, Zhong You, and Wang Xizhi, and yet we do not find his name in the history of calligraphy. If we want to get to know him, we have to travel to the remote mountains of present-day western Shandong and southern Hebei province, where inscribed colophons accompanying Buddhist moya (polished-cliff) inscriptions give proof of his existence. They testify that for twenty years he played a prominent role—as a calligrapher, designer, organizer, and donor—in the context of sutra carving activities performed from the 560s on.

This lecture starts with an introduction to the large writing project associated with the calligrapher-monk Seng’an Daoyi. Using the visual evidence remaining today, the lecture aims to trace the process of its actual making, discussing the chiseling of the inscriptions as well as their size and the issue of duplication. Chinese stone inscriptions are traditionally studied by means of rubbings. However, although a rubbing and the stone-carved characters from which it is made represent an identical piece of calligraphy, the rubbing possesses a different materiality, appearance, and aesthetic quality. What are the aesthetic consequences of the transformation that takes place when transferring a carved calligraphy onto another medium? It will be shown that there exist intriguing relationships between the various “states of being” of a calligraphic text in its various forms as brush-written manuscript, stone-carved characters, ink rubbing on paper, and the textual image in art-historical discourse. The lecture closes with the description of an event of actual “mountain writing” on a monumental scale.

Elisabeth A. Jung Lu is an independent scholar and calligrapher based in Hangzhou, China. She studied calligraphy and seal-carving for ten years at the China Academy of Art (CAA) in Hangzhou (M.A. in 2002) and completed her dissertation in 2015 at the University of Zurich under the supervision of Hans Bjarne Thomsen and Robert E. Harrist Jr. of Columbia University. She has acted as an interpreter in the fields of East Asian art history and media arts (Museum Rietberg Zurich, China Academy of Art), led calligraphy workshops (Museum Rietberg Zurich), and curated the solo calligraphy exhibition of works by Lu Dadong in Waldshut (Culturescapes China 2010). She also participated in the large-scale exhibitions of contemporary calligraphy, Shu fei shu, hosted by the China Academy of Art (2010, 2015). Her dissertation “When Confucian Spirit Meets Southern Elegance: The Origins and Transmission of Calligraphic Traditions Carved in Stone During the Northern Qi Dynasty (550–577)” was recently published by Zhejiang People’s Fine Art Publishing in Hangzhou in 2 volume-book and will be presented to public during the lecture.

FS19 Jung flyer (PDF, 224 KB)

The lecture will be held in English and is open to the public. 

For questions, please contact the Section for East Asian Art History: kgoa@khist.uzh.ch



Informationen zu Vorträgen und Tagungen der vergangenen Semester im Archiv