Hooded monk imagery in early medieval China: Chan masters, Buddhist meditation, and Chinese immortals.
For more than a decade, Art Focus has welcomed young and emerging scholars. By providing a platform for future academians to hone their theses and dissertations, we support the next generation of philosophers and professors, who will re-fine and even re-write history. Over the past decade, emerging scholars hailing from the USA, Europe, Australia and China have had the privilege of presenting their papers to RAS members and friends to receive feedback and constructive suggestions.
This month,Jinchao Zhao, a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, and beginning her career in China, will share with us her research on the little-known Buddhist iconography of hooded monks.
Zhao begins by asking: Why did some figures of monks in early medieval Chinese art wear hoods? What message did the hooded monk imageries convey? Since the late Tang dynasty (ca. the mid-eighth century), a monk in the robe with a hood had been an essential visual element of Chan Buddhist masters and prominent monks, however, little is known about its origins and the ways this image spread throughout China. Combing through surviving visual materials in multiple sites across South Asia, Central Asia, and China along the Silk Road, Zhao's talk traces the formation and early development of the hooded monk image dated from prior to the Tang dynasty to address the early development of this unique imagery in the broader context with the spread of Buddhist meditation practice, the Sinicization of reform undertaken by nomadic kingdoms, and the transformation of visual culture in early medieval China.
Convenor: Julie Chun
This is for RAS members who signed up under the joint/family option