Call for papers: The Journal of Asian Studies, June issue 2019 “Meaning of Images in Chinese Tomb Art”

Deadline: 15th Jan 2019

The June 2019 issue will be dedicated to the meaning of motifs and themes in Chinese tomb art from the Zhou till Tang Dynasties. Motifs discovered in tomb complexes – on mural paintings, relief carvings, coffins or on burial goods – often tend to be regarded in an isolated manner, taken out of their original context. However, only by contextualising the individual scenes within the framework of the whole composition, and seeking the relations between the pictorial contents and the architectural elements, can a solid basis for the interpretations be
established. In other words, the painted scenes within the tombs can only be interpreted properly within the context of their original architectural arrangement. Taking a holistic view, this special issue thus aims to shed light on the exact positioning of motifs inside the tomb system, their interaction with other motifs and themes, and with burial goods. It investigates how different motifs were transformed across different artistic media and adapted to meet specific needs during a time when certain beliefs were spreading from the Chinese cultural core to its ‘peripheries’. Special attention will be devoted to the depiction of Fuxi and Nüwa, two of the most prominent deities that originated indigenously in China, and
who became widely represented in tomb art from the Han Dynasty on, when their mythology was gradually being formulated and iconography codified.

We welcome papers from scholars, researchers, PhD students and other who have expertise in the above mentioned topics.
Submission deadline: Previously unpublished articles are to be submitted online
( by January 15 th 2019.

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