Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Memorable Arts: The Mnemonics of Painting and Calligraphy in Late Imperial China

Ms. Monica Klasing Chen defended her thesis on 16 December 2020

M. Klasing Chen
16 December 2020
Leiden Repository

This dissertation investigates memorisation strategies that were employed in the fields of painting and calligraphy in imperial China, with a focus on the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Its core questions are: How do memory aids reflect the society that produced them? What role did they play in the transmission and codification of practical knowledge in the field of arts?With the expansion of the printing industry during the Ming dynasty, knowledge of artistic practices came to be valued not only by craftsmen, but also by editors, publishers and highly educated authors. By analyzing both publication context and practices of remembering recorded in works from the Ming and Qing, this study provides insight into the dynamic changes of social values attributed to crafts. It takes a socio-historical approach to analyse memory aids in textual and visual formats recorded in manuals, including formulae (jue шиг) and charts. It provides six case studies to discuss under which circumstances memory aids were composed and how they were received over time, laying a foundation for understanding how practical skills were taught and how new canons of artistic knowledge were constantly being negotiated.

Supervisors: prof. dr. H.D.G. De Weerdt; co-supervisor: dr. F. Lin

This website uses cookies.  More information.