34th World Congress of Art History – Beijing (China)

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34th World Congress of Art History – Beijing (China)

The Chinese CIHA Committee will host the 34th World Congress of Art History in Beijing, and invites art historians from all over the world to attend and discuss “terms”.
Art and cultural historians from a vast cross-section of disciplines and fields of professional interest are called upon to discuss together ways of seeing, describing, analyzing and classifying art works.
One session will be devoted to Gardens and courtyards.

Gardens and courtyards, as a universal phenomenon, provide for us an ideal subject of cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary exploration. This session will provide an opportunity to raise the issue of the specificity of gardens and courtyards. It will consider the various techniques and materials used in their construction and design, and the different ways they are used and perceived in various traditions and historical contexts. It is impossible to define and understand the garden in certain perspective. The charming of a garden lies in its multi-facet significance and its warm welcome given to the endeavour of understanding it in different cultural perspectives. Technically, garden and courtyard seems to be not only concerned with space and orientation, but also with time and cycles. Functionally, creating a garden involves both making something to look at, and a place to live in. What they offer to look at, and the way they allow their users to live, can be interpreted as the expression of certain ideals concerning nature or the place of human beings in the universe.

The following issues could be addressed:
1.Space design and time-planning in the gardens of different cultures.
2.Gardens as places for specific activities (feasts, gatherings, games and art performances, religious practices…) and its connection with outer world.
3.Gardens as tools to create specific impressions and feelings.
4.Gardens as ways to express or represent ideas or show images of nature or the cosmic universe.
5.Gardens, the cultural exchange and the travel of ideas.
6.Gardens and its role in the shaping of different cultures and societies.
These issues could also serve as possible starting points or as a grid of interpretation to compare different gardens from various historic traditions.