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Decorative Designs in Chinese Art 中国文物的纹饰

Further Reading

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Further Reading


I have been lucky enough to have lived in China for the last two years and had the opportunity to visit many museums and historic sites. I note the locations in the titles of the photographs. If you are not so fortunate to be able to visit these sites but want to do more research there are a bunch of good books on related subjects. In any case, China is too big to see it all. The Book China's Museums gives an overview of a selectin of the most outstanding museums in China [Li and Luo, 2010]. With the National Museum in Beijing under construction, the Shanghai Museum is probably the best museum in China at present. Of its various collections, the bronze ware collection is the most awe-inspiring. You can read about the collections in the Shanghai Museum in the book Shanghai Museum [Chen, 2007]. [Chiu Kwong Chiu, 2008] explains the architecture its symbolism in the book The Forbidden City. For more on cultural relics see China's Cultural Relics [Li, 2004]. See Chinese-English Glossary of Cultural Relics and Archaeology [Wang, 2005] for a list and brief explanation of many different artifact types and terms.

For more information on the Inkscape vector graphics program see Inkscape [Kirsanov 2009].


Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs [Williams 1974] gives explanations of many symbols used in Chinese art.


Many of the photos of pottery and porcelain here are from the Shanghai Museum and the Capital Museum in Beijing. The book Shanghai Museum [Chen Xiejun 2007] includes a section on the ceramic artifacts in the museum. Chinese Ceramics: A History of Elegance [Fang Lili 2010] is a short and useful introduction to Chinese ceramics, including pottery and porcelain.

Bronze Ware

For more on bronze ware see Chinese Bronze Ware [Li Song, 2009].

Buddhist Art

Many of the photos of Buddhist art were taken at Lingyin Temple and Feilai Peak in Hangzhou and Mount Putuo in Zhejiang. [Lin Zhengqiu 2003] describes Lingyin Temple and Feilai Peak in Hangzhou very well. The book A Sea Paradise Buddha Land — Mount Putuo [Fang Lunxin and Wang Daoxing 1998] describes Mount Putuo. The book Yonghe Lamasery [Bao Hongfei and Hu Xuefeng 2008] contains some good information in both Chinese and English and some great photographs of the Lama Temple in Beijing. Signs of the Dharma [Shi Ci Zhuang 1997] (in Chinese) gives a detailed explaination of many symbols in Buddhism but is not limited to art.

List of References

  1. Bao Hongfei and Hu Xuefeng (Eds), 2008. Yonghe Lamasery China National Art Photography Publishing House, Beijing, ISBN 978-7-80069-880-4.Chinese-English bilingual edition.

    雍和汉英对照 / 雪峰主编.北京中国民族摄影艺术出版社,2008.7

  2. Chen Xiejun, 2007. Shanghai Museum. Shanghai Museum, Shanghai. ISBN: 978-7-80017-858-0.

  3. Chiu Kwong Chiu, 2008. The Grand Forbidden City — The Imperial Axis. The Forbidden City Publishing House, Hong Kong, ISBN 978-7-80047-688-4.

  4. Diamond, Jared, 1993. The Third Chimpanzee: the evolution and future of the human animal. Harper-Perennial, New York. ISBN-10: 0-060-84550-3, ISBN-13: 978-0-060-84550-6.

  5. Fang Lili, 2010. Chinese Ceramics: A History of Elegance. China Intercontinental Press, Beijing. Translated by Walter Wang ISBN-13: 978-0-5085-1673-8.

  6. Fang Lunxin and Wang Daoxing, 1998. A Sea Paradise Buddha Land — Mount Putuo. Haihu Press, Tianjin, in Chinese. ISBN 7-80054-846-5/K.84.

    佛国普陀山/ 王道 编著 1998 出版社 天津

  7. Han Jianting, 2008. Chinese Characters. China International Press,, Beijing, ISBN 978-7-5085-1340-9.
  8. Kirsanov D., 2009. The Book of Inkscape: The Definitive Guide to the Free Graphics Editor. No Starch Press, San Francisco, ISBN-10: 1-59327-181-6, ISBN-13: 978-1-59327-181-7.
  9. Li Li, 2004. China's Cultural Relics. Cultural China Series. Five Continents Press, Beijing, Translated to English from Chinese. ISBN 7-5085-0456-9.

    中国文物/五洲传播出版社,2004.9. ISBN 7-5085-0456-9.

  10. Li Song, 2009. Chinese Bronze Ware: A Mirror of Chinese Culture. Cultural China Series. Five Continents Press, Beijing, Translated to English from Chinese by Zhu Jianting et al. ISBN 978-7-5085-1325-6.

    中国青铜器/五洲传播出版社,2009.1.ISBN 978-7-5085-1325-6.

  11. Li Xianyao and Luo Zhewen, 2010. China's Museums: Treasures of Civilization. China Intercontinental Press, Beijing, ISBN 978-7-5085-1699-8.

  12. Lin Zhengqiu, 2003. Old Lingyin Temple. Zhejiang People's Press, Hangzhou, in Chinese. ISBN 978-7-213-02640-9.

    古刹/编著杭州浙江人民出版社,2003.12 ISBN 978-7-213-02640-9.

  13. Shi Ci Zhuang (Ed), 1997. Signs of the Dharma. Foguang Shan, Taipei, ISBN 978-957-543-568-4. In Chinese.

    / 法相佛光台北,ISBN 978-957-543-568-4。

  14. Wang Dianming, Yang Qihua (Eds), 2005. Chinese-English Glossary of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. Forbidden City Press, Beijing, ISBN 978-7-80047510-8.

    汉英文物考古词汇/殿编译北京紫禁城出版社2005.10, ISBN 978-7-80047510-8

  15. Williams, C.A.S., 1974. Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs. Tuttle Publishing, Hong Kong. ISBN-13: 978-0-8048-3704-0, ISBN-10: 0-8048-3704-X.

  16. Zu Haishan (Ed.), 2006. The History of China, Beijing Thread-binding Books Publishing House, 2006.9 ISBN 7-80106-524-3. In Chinese.

    主编中国历史》.北京线装书局, 2006.9 ISBN 7-80106-524-3

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