International conference «Folk images and Late Imperial China»

Saint-Petersburg, Russia
29–30th Jun 2017
Deadline: 1st May 2017

The State Museum of the History of Religion (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Mazu Culture Research Center, National Chung Cheng University (Chiayi, Taiwan)

Conference Organizing Committee: L. Musienko (Director, State Museum of History of Religion, St. Petersburg), I. Popova (Director, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the RAS, St.Petersburg, Ph.D, Professor), Y. Yang (Director, Research Center of Mazu Culture, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan, Ph.D, Professor), E. Teryukova (Deputy Director, State Museum of History of Religion, Saint-Petersburg, Ph.D.); E. Zavidovskaya – (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, Ph.D).

Conference secretary – P. Tugarinov (Junior researcher, State Museum of the History of Religion).

History of Chinese studies in the capital of Russian empire Saint-Petersburg starts from the decree issued by Emperor Peter the Great (1672 -1725) about establishing the Academy of Sciences almost 300 years ago. During three centuries, with establishment of institutions for comprehensive studies of China, Saint-Petersburg has been a leading center of studies in Chinese history and culture, among which the Asian Museum established in 1818, and now reorganized into the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the RAS, has been one of the most important centres. The collection of manuscripts housed in the IOM of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest collection of Oriental manuscripts in Russia and one of the second-third largest and most valuable ones in the world. In 1854 a decree was issued about opening of the Oriental department at the Saint-Petersburg Imperial University, now a recognized center of learning and research in the fields of philology, history and culture of the Eastern countries. In 1714 Peter the Great founded the first state museum open to public in Russia called Kunstkamera of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, which laid foundation for formation of Chinese collections housed in Petersburg nowadays. Personal Chinese collection of Peter the Great served as a grounding stone of Chinese collection in the Kunstkamera. During subsequent years vast collections from China were formed in the State Hermitage and the State Museum of History of Religion. Outstanding Russian sinologist, Academician Vasily Mikhailovich Alekseev (1881-1951) is a very important figure in the history of Russian and Petersburg`s sinology, who is prominent for his collections and research of the Chinese popular painting. While traveling in China in 1906-1909, 1912 and 1926 V.M. Alekseev acquired a large collection of popular paintings, prints, rubbings, temple epigraphy, cult and household items comprising several thousand units, which was divided among the leading museums and research institutions of Leningrad (now Saint– Petersburg) after his demise.

During recent years Saint-Petersburg and various institutions from Taiwan have developed cooperation in the field of education, culture and scientific research. Following century-long tradition of Chinese culture studies in Saint Petersburg, the State Museum of History of Religion and the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts jointly with the Mazu Culture Research Center (National Chung Cheng University) cordially invite you to take part in the international conference “Folk images and Late Imperial China”. Wide range of issues related to studies of popular painting and print in late imperial China are welcomed for discussion. 

The conference welcomes specialists in the field of sinology, history and theory of visual arts, religion studies, history, and cultural studies.

The following issues are proposed for discussion at the conference:

– Chinese popular paintings in museum collections of Russia and abroad;
– Symbolic meaning of Chinese popular painting and their semiological myth structure;
– Evolution of Chinese popular painting in the XX century;
– Chinese popular painting in contemporary artistic culture.

To participate in the conference interested scholars are asked to send an application to organizers before May 1, 2017 to the address and an abstract of report/paper (no more than 300 words) in Russian and/or English to be published in the Conference program.

The application is to include surname, given name, patronymic, place of
employment and position, academic degree and title, contact information: post address, telephone, e-mail.

All speakers are welcome to deliver their papers in English.

We plan to place of the Preliminary Conference Program on the Museum`s website.

Invitation for participation in the conference will be sent before May 1, 2017.
The application and abstract should be sent by e-mail.

Travel, hotel accommodation and other expenses are to be borne by participants!!!

Download the application form and conference announcement as PDF here