Cultural education forum of JNU (NO.287)
Lecture series of Chinese traditional culture (NO.4): Astronomy and humanities in the Forbidden City
Lecture | June 16, 2017 | 7:30 p.m. | International Meeting Hall in Zeng Xianzi Science Center
Speaker: Wang Jun, Research Institute of the Palace Museum, Research Institute of Gugongnology
Host: Yu Ji-xin, School of Journalism and Communication JNU
Sponsors: Publicity Department of Party Committee, Cultural Quality Education
ABOUT WANG JUN
Wang Jun, graduating from School of Journalism and Communication Renmin University of China in 1991, is museologist of Research Institute of the Palace Museum, deputy director of Research Institute of Gugongnology, former full senior reporter of Xinhua News Agency, former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Outlook Weekly, one of the Invited members of Beijing's 11th CPPCC. He devoted to researches on Beijing city history, Liang Si-cheng's academic thought, urban planning and cultural heritage protection, joined efforts to carry out Liang Si-cheng Architectural Design Biennale, Digital Image Exhibition of Beijing Memory, and launched Beijing Architectural Culture Week.
Wang Jun published Beijing Record, The Cities in the Interview Notebook, Memory and other works. Beijing Record has won Chinese Publishing Group Reward, National Excellent Bestseller Award, and National Library Wenjin Book Award, and it has been translated into many languages. To complete this work, Wang interviewed more than 50 relevant people, collected, looked up and arranged plenty of first-hand historical materials, make field visits to important remnants of ancient structures in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, and Shanxi Province, traced the dynamic change of Beijing development, and investigated into architectural creation, real estate development, urban development mode, cultural relic protection. The New York Review of Books gave a remark of Beijing Record, saying that the book resembles The Death and Life of Great American Cites by Jane Jacobs, the classic book changing people's thinking towards urban environment, and it becomes core work to emerging urban protection campaign of China.
The time and space pattern of the Forbidden City embodies the most basic knowledge system and philosophical concept which supports the continuous development of the agricultural culture with independent origin of human beings in East Asia, and the remarkable continuity of the Chinese culture, which is the great witness of the long history of Chinese civilization. The original astronomical observing system created by Chinese ancestors, shaped the humanistic view of the spatiotemporal close and gave birth to the planning law based on the natural environment and the overall production.
The Forbidden City and Beijing city in the Ming and Qing Dynasties are the epitome of such planning law, representing the most oriental characteristics of urban construction mode, which is totally different from the western one.
The worship of Heaven defines the form of human habitation in ancient China. Four images of Feng Shui corresponding to twenty-eight mansions integrate with architectures and the city to constitute a tile in the Earth's astronomical map, which witness the Chinese ancestors' excellence of time planning and the philosophy of unity between Heaven and Man. Such spatial heritage is a monument to the agricultural civilization with the most oriental characteristics that cannot be obliterated.
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