HAA 285P - Topography of Vision: Asian Cases

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

Eugene Wang

The seminar examines some key monuments in East and Southeast Asia. These include early watchtowers with relief decorations, twin structures (e.g. pagodas at Gameunsa Temple, Kaiyuan Monastery in Quanzhou, etc.), ornamented four-sided structures (e.g. Tamamushi shrine, Shentong Monastery pagodas), timber structures housing tiered sculptural programs (e.g. Yinxian Pagoda, Guanyin Pavilion, etc.), monumental cities and precincts (Angkor Wat, Bagan, etc.), rock gardens (Ryōanji, etc.). The relationship between mind and matter is the central concern driving the course. Questions to be explored include how visionary blueprints are played out in physical layout, how imaginary worldbuilding translates into material forms and processes, how numerology or temporal schemes (astronomical and calendrical cycles etc.) are spatialized into architectonic forms, and how architectural structures work in ecological systems (e.g., water management, etc.).