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Thursday, 26 May 2022, 7pm (HKT), 12noon (BST), 7am (EDT)  via MS Teams

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The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong is delighted to welcome Dr. Guolong Lai to share his research on the role of the celebrated Chinese architects and architectural historians Liang Sicheng (1901–1972) and Lin Huiyin (1904–1955) in the development of heritage conservation theory and practice in modern China.   

Answering Mao Zedong’s call to ‘use the past to serve the present’, the newly established Communist government, post-1949, promoted economic development at the expense of cultural heritage. In the process of industrialization and urbanization, ancient city walls, including Beijing’s, were dismantled, and heritage sites were damaged. The Cultural Revolution devastated conservation practices. 

It is against the backdrop of such historic changes in the Republican and Communist eras that Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin advocated for the ‘social value’ of cultural heritage, a new concept in China. While traditions were cast aside and a great many succumbed to political pressure, Liang and Lin, along with a number of heroic scholars, fought vehemently to preserve the Beijing city wall and other ancient architectural structures. Although achieving limited success in their own time, the legacy of their advocacy remains influential and forms the basis of heritage conservation in China today.  

Guolong Lai is an Associate Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology at the University of Florida, where he teaches Chinese art and cultural studies. His research interests include Chinese paleography and Old Chinese phonology, excavated manuscripts, and the history of heritage conservation in modern China. He is the author of Excavating the Afterlife: The Archaeology of Early Chinese Religion (2015) which won the Society for American Archaeology Honorable Mention-Book Award in 2016.  He co-edited Collectors, Collections, and Collecting Arts of China: Histories and Challenges (2014), Unmasking Ideology in Imperial and Colonial Archaeology (2018), and New Philology and the Study of Early China (in Chinese, 2018).

This lecture will be presented as a free online event, using Microsoft Teams. No registration is required. If you are joining a Microsoft Teams online lecture for the first time, we advise you read this step-by-step guide: [Online lecture guide]

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