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Western Vision on Commercial Landscape and Garden Knowledge Exchange of the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Canton Port in China

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Gastvortrag:

Western Vision on Commercial Landscape and Garden Knowledge Exchange of the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Canton Port in China

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In this talk the historical background of garden knowledge exchanges between China and Britain, revealing the Western vision on commercial landscapes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Canton will be introduced. By using some examples of works from the collections in major museums in Britain, the making of botanical catalogues and landscape paintings and prints for the foreign market that were produced by prominent Cantonese artists or workshops is demonstrated, in order to investigate how those visual records were perceived, displayed and used in the West. The commercial artistic productions circulated among collectors, merchants and botanists will be critically considered. By doing so, the taste of these landscape can be understood in relation to the cultural, economic and political environments in the late Qing China. Finally Chan will argue that those pictures are not artistic representation of landscape only, but also function as a mise en abyme (image within image) of the physical landscape itself, leading to greater landscape refashioning.

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Yuen Lai Winnie Chan is a PhD Student in Chinese Studies at Wadham College, University of Oxford. She writes on garden history and her thesis topic is “Garden Knowledge, Practices and Tradition: Merchant Garden of Qing China”. Prior to her doctoral study at Oxford, Chan was trained as architect and researcher in the Centre for Architecture Heritage Research, School of Architecture, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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