New York University, USA
Hsueh-man Shen is Associate Professor: Ehrenkranz Chair in World Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and subsequently held positions at Harvard University Art Museums, Seattle Art Museum, National Museums Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh. She was Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin from 2008-2009. Her published work covers a wide range of topics, from trade ceramics, reliquaries, to wall paintings, and wooden sculptures. She is author of the book, Authentic Replicas: Buddhist Art in Medieval China (2017), and editor of Gilded Splendor: Treasures of China’s Liao Empire (2006) and Schätze der Liao: Chinas vergessene Nomadendynastie (2007). She is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Contesting Fields of Art, Archaeology, and Politics, which focuses on the shipwrecks salvaged from South China Sea and pioneers to address the troubled relationship between archaeology and politics.
Known as Mingzhou in the Tang and Song dynasties, Nigbo was one of the few port-cities in premodern China that are characterized by their openness to overseas commerce. By the twelfth century Ningbo developed into a major center of artistic production, focusing on export to Japan. Numerous paintings, stone sculptures, and fine ceramics made in or around Ningbo area were shipped to Japan for consumption at Buddhist temples where wealth concentrated. Many of the objects do not find their counterparts within China. This paper examines both textual and material evidence to demonstrate the key role played by Ningbo in the network connecting China, Japan, and Korea during the 12th-14th centuries. It will be shown that the port-city environment in Ningbo not only created an overseas market but also inspired unique forms of art unseen elsewhere in China.
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