Activating the sacred landscape : the visual culture of the Wuyi Mountains
- Yu-Chuan Chen.
- [Stanford, California] : [Stanford University], 2019.
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- This dissertation examines the visual culture of the Wuyi Mountains, one of the sacred Daoist sites in China's southeastern Fujian province. Since the twelfth century, the breathtaking topography of Wuyi has inspired a great variety of cultural productions, including stone inscriptions, topographic paintings, cartography, and contemporary theatrical performances. Grounded in the cultural practice of boating initiated by the influential Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi (1130-1200), these cultural productions developed amid Confucian, Daoist, tourist, and contemporary political currents. Reflecting diverse ways in which humans engaged with Wuyi, these visual materials have defined and augmented the mountains' sacredness. Through integrated analyses of ecology, topography, and visual culture, this study traces the dynamic yet neglected ecological episodes of Wuyi. I argue that understanding ecologically engaged artistic production illuminates historical conceptions of the sacred, reveals histories of human intervention in and interaction with Wuyi, and exemplifies the ways in which we can re-imagine our relations with the environment.
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- Submitted to the Department of Art and Art History.
- Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2019.