Symposium: A Silk Road saga
Reconsidering cultural interactions on the famed trade route
The discovery of the tomb of Yu Hong (533/34–92) in Taiyuan, Shanxi province in 1999 has demanded a fresh interpretation of the cultural interaction that occurred between China and the West due to the travel and trade along the Silk Road. While sharing a structure similar to many other tombs of the second half of the 6th century in north-central China, the carved and painted artwork on the marble sarcophagus of Yu Hong and his wife surprisingly shows no trace of Chinese motifs. The scenes of hunting, feasting, musical performance and domestic life owe more to Persian and Buddhist iconography.
The symposium provides fascinating background to the cultural intermingling along the Silk Road which gave rise to the golden age of ancient Chinese civilisation in the Tang dynasty.
*The lectures marked with an asterisk will be presented in Chinese with English translation.
Coffee and registration
Dr Michael Brand, director, Art Gallery of NSW
The ‘Silk Roads’: melting pot of history
Edmund Capon, former director, Art Gallery of NSW
Huteng and huxuan: dances from the Silk Road introduced to China from the 6th to 10th centuries *
Professor Zhang Qingjie, director, Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology
Lunch and exhibition viewing
Glass and gold: the impact of cultural artefacts from the West on China *
Professor Qi Dongfang, School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University
Two gods under the same roof: Zoroastrian and Buddhist representations on Yu Hong’s sarcophagus
Yin Cao, curator of Chinese art, Art Gallery of NSW
Professor David SG Goodman, FASSA, academic director, China Studies Centre, University of Sydney
Join the speakers for a glass of wine
Supported by University of Sydney and Confucius Institute
Image: Panel 5 of Yu Hong’s sarcophagus (detail), Sui dynasty (581–618), Shanxi Museum