Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China (Harvard East Asian Monographs)

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9780674065734: Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China (Harvard East Asian Monographs)


Picturing the True Form investigates the long-neglected visual culture of Daoism, China's primary indigenous religion, from the tenth through the thirteenth centuries with references to both earlier and later times. In this richly illustrated book, Huang provides a comprehensive mapping of Daoist images in various media, including Dunhuang manuscripts, funerary artifacts, and paintings, as well as other charts, illustrations, and talismans preserved in the fifteenth-century Daoist Canon. True form (zhenxing), the key concept behind Daoist visuality, is not a static picture, but entails an active journey of "seeing" underlying and secret phenomena through a series of metamorphoses.
 
This book's structure mirrors the two-part Daoist journey from inner to outer. Part I focuses on inner images associated with meditation and visualization practices for self-cultivation and longevity, while Part II investigates the visual and material dimensions of Daoist ritual. Interwoven through these discussions is the idea that the inner and outer mirror each other, and the boundary demarcating the two is fluent. Huang also reveals three central modes of Daoist symbolism--aniconic, immaterial, and ephemeral--and shows how Daoist image-making goes beyond the traditional dichotomy of text and image to incorporate writings in image design. It is these particular features that distinguish Daoist visual culture from its Buddhist counterpart.

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About the Author:

Shih-shan Susan Huang is Assistant Professor of Art History at Rice University (Ph.D., Yale University)

Review:

Picturing the True Form undertakes a path-breaking and comprehensive treatment of a highly important topic in the study of Chinese religions: the nature and cultural import of Daoist art. With an unprecedented level of analysis and meticulous attention to detail, Susan Huang considers Daoist artworks from the perspective of cultural history and presents exciting new data on how Daoist art differed from that of Buddhism. The result is not only an assiduous investigation of Daoist visual culture, but a veritable history of Daoism itself. (Paul Katz, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica)

Huang’s book is an enormously valuable and monumental undertaking, highly recommended, and will go far to spread awareness of the vast Daoist visual lexicon. (Stephen Little, Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

The first of its kind, Picturing the True Form is a comprehensive mapping of Daoist images found in various media―paintings, diagrams, drawings, and woodblock prints scattered throughout the Daoist canon. Not only is the sheer magnitude of such an undertaking remarkable, but the judicious discrimination the author brings to bear in sorting out the visual materials makes this book all the more commendable. A sturdy building block in laying out a new field in the study of Daoist images, it will easily become a go-to volume on the nature and use of Daoist images. (Eugene Wang, Harvard University)

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Huang, Shih-Shan Susan
Editore: Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge (2012)
ISBN 10: 0674065735 ISBN 13: 9780674065734
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. Harvard East Asain Monographs 342. 497pp. Numerous color and b&w illustrations. In shrinkwrap Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12". Codice libro della libreria 074397

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Huang, Shih-shan Susan
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Asia Center, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110674065735

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Huang, Shih-shan Susan
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Asia Center. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0674065735 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.1227433

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