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The Artistic Landscape of East Asia: Commerce Lecture #7, February 25, 2013. Slide #1 – Title Talk about exam – will come back graded next Monday; preliminary marking is completed, but final grades not yet assigned. Slide #2– C: Chang’an Between the Midterm for this course and Reading Period, we have had a long break from the real work of the course—considering the artistic landscape of East Asia. So, I would like to remind all of us – myself included – that we have been considering the artistic landscape of East Asia, the patterns and practices of artistic production in the world of China and her cultural and commercial satellites through a series of frameworks that include: artifact, technology, space, monument, and most recently metropolis. Before I turn to today’s topic of commerce, I would like to revisit some basic ideas of the metropolis, particularly in its East Asian manifestation, and in particular in the case of Chang’an. Slide #3– Top L: Chang’an Lower L: Kaogong ji Lower C: Bright Hall “Ming Tang” Lower R: Bright Hall “Ming Tang” The metropolis of Chang’an, -- and other metropolis – might serve as a seat of the cosmos. Indeed, the cosmological alignment of the city may not have been fully understood by the estimated one million residents within the city walls of Chang’an. – and perhaps by nearly another million outside them. But the simple alignment of the city with the cardinal directions – the most basic geomantic practice, coupled with the naming of infrastructure to underscore this orientation – most notably in the case of the Vermillion Bird Street – emphasized this function of the metropolis. Slide #4– L: Chang’an R: Palace Facade A metropolis might serve as the seat of an empire. In this capacity, the metropolis serves as an image of imperial power and territory writ in larger, material terms. Jennifer Purtle Page 1 2/9/2014 Slide #5– L: Chang’an R: Administrative and Financial Agencies in the Tang Dynasty A metropolis might also serve as the seat of an imperial bureaucracy. In this capacity, those in civil service to the empire might experience the metropolis through its function as bureaucratic clearing house. Slide #6– L: Chang’an R: Colored plan The metropolis of Chang’an also served as a seat of religion and religious institutions. The city was, in particular, distinguished by the number and diversity of its religious establishments. Red dots = Buddhist temple 1 south of palace city 2 near serpentine stream Yellow dots =Daoist temples Blue dots = foreign religions temples 1 Mazdaist temple – to east of West market 2 Persian temples nw of West market Nestorian Christian temple in the suburbs, Zoroastrian, Manichean Slide #7 L: Chang’an R: Luoyang In this respect, Chang’an followed the precedent of the Western Wei capital of Pingcheng or modern Luoyang, whose many pagodas punctured the skyline to attests to the presence and importance of Buddhist religious institutions in the city. Slide #8 L: Chang’an R: Luoyang In particular, the pagoda of the Yongning Monastery was reported in Record of the Monasteries of Luoyang to be as tall as the Eiffel Tower – 270 meters plus a golden spire that extended for another 30 meters, giving particular visual and material force –of not some artistic license- - to the proclamation of this earlier metropolis as a religious center. Jennifer Purtle Page 2 2/9/2014 Slide #9– L: Chang’an R: Amusement quarters The metropolis was also a center for social life. In its most rarified form that social life existed in the entertainment districts of the metropolis. In these districts, in restaurants, wine shops, and brothels trends formed and tastes were codified outside the tamer social life, mediated by more explicit norms of Confucian propriety, of palace and home. Slide #10– L: Chang’an R: Women’s figure types a. Ewer, showing Anahita, Persian goddess of fertility, Sassanian Dynasty, gilded silver, Iran, 6 century. b. Girl in Persian Boy’s clothing, cold-painted ceramic, Tang dynasty th th China, 7 –early 8 cent. c. Sarcophagus of Princess Yongtai, carved stone, 701 CE, Tang dynasty, China. d. Woman with dog, cold-painted ceramic, circa 755, Tang dynasty, China. The metropolis also served as the seat of style and fashion. Slide #11– C: Human forms All – Male figure, ceramic, Tang dynasty, China. The metropolis was also a site of a critical mass of humanity, of so many types – cultural, ethnic, racial -- represented in so many ways. Slide #12– C: Gigaku masks – man and woman of Wu, SE coastal China Man = Gentleman of Wu, paint on paulownia wood, 778 CE, place of manufacture unknown. Woman = Woman of Wu, paint on paulownia wood, 8 cent. CE, place of manufacture unknown. The critical mass of humanity found in the metropolis makes the metropolis as site of spectacularization of other Gigaku masks – masks for musical theater – indicate the desire on the part of eighth Jennifer Purtle Page 3 2/9/2014 century audiences to watch even Chinese from outside the metropolis. Slide #13– C: Persian and Central Asians, Deity Konron All -- paint on paulownia wood, 778 CE, place of manufacture unknown. Metropolis as site of spectacularization of other Gigaku masks – popular oxymoron was “a poor Persian.” Stereotyping. Foreign enclaves, especially around the West market. Konron, SE Asian deity. Slide #14 L: Villas th R: After Wang Wei (701-761), Wangchuan Villa, rubbing – ink on paper, 10 cent., China. One response to the metropolis – in all its overwhelming ways – was to flee to the suburbs – to villas where the air was better, the surroundings less noisy, etc., the strategy employed by the statesman and poet Wang Wei, who retired to his villa at Wangchuan. Slide #15– Chang’an on Silk Road Map Chang’an served as a center for the Silk Road, and as we have seen, served in this capacity as a clearing house for things, people, and ideas. What is the role of commerce in shaping an artistic landscape? What is commerce? According to the OED “Commerce” is: 1. a. Exchange between men of the products of nature or art; buying and selling together; trading; exchange of merchandise, esp. as conducted on a large scale between different countries or districts; including the whole of the transactions, arrangements, etc., therein involved. b. pl. Mercantile dealings. Obs. c. The company of merchants, the commercial body (of a place). [ad. Sp. comercio.] Obs. d. () Trade, business (obs.); a business. rare. 2. a. Intercourse in the affairs of life; dealings. Jennifer Purtle Page 4 2/9/2014 b. (with a and pl.) c. Intercourse or converse with God, with spirits, passions, thoughts, etc. d. of good (etc.) commerce: agreeable (etc.) in intercourse, ‘pleasant to meet’. Obs. 3. Intercourse of the sexes; esp. in a bad sense. 4. Interchange (esp. of letters, ideas, etc.). Obs. 5. Communication, means of free intercourse. 6. Cards. a. A game in which exchange or barter is the chief feature. Also attrib. b. game of commerce: see quot., and cf. Fr. jeux de commerce in Littré; also 7. Comb., as commerce-crushing adj. commerce-destroyer, a fast cruiser designed to destroy the merchant vessels of an enemy; so commerce-destroying; similarly commerce-raider, -raiding. [a. F. commerce, ad. L. commercium trade, trafficking, f. com- together, with, + merx, merci- merchandise, ware. Used only since the 16th c.; the earlier term was merchandise. The stress was orig. on second syllable, as in Watts 1706 (sense 2c); Gay 1720 (sense 1) shows the present usage.] LITERALLY: “Trafficking in merchandise” verb form: 1. intr. To carry on trade; to trade, traffic. 2. To have intercourse or converse, hold communication, associate with. arch. 3. To communicate physically. 4. trans. To traffic or deal in. Obs. rare. How does commerce shape artistic landscape? In particular in the case illustrated by this map and urban plan of Chang’an? Slide #16– Chang’an and other Cities on Silk Road Map Yet even as some individuals rejected metropolis – perhaps defined by one or more of these functions, that I have just summarized others, notably polities, chose to replicate both its essence and its form. How does the presence or emergence of other metropolises suggest changes in habits and patterns of trade? Center/periphery, hub/spoke model verses multipoint model. Vast difference between a single engine generating commerce in and out of the peripheries, and multiple engines of commerce shaping larger webs, networks of trade. Networks of trade have the ability to shape much more even exchanges – at least culturally – between center and periphery. Jennifer Purtle Page 5 2/9/2014 Slide #17– Chang’an and Ardeshir/Firuzabad Not every metropolis with which Chang’an traded was fashioned in its own image. In fact, the Persian city now known as Firuzabad, was founded by Ardeshir (224-241 CE), who founded the Sassanian dynasty (224-651 CE). Commerce as link between disparate visual, urban experiences. What strikes you about the differences between Firuzabad as it persists today, and the template of Chang’an? What are the comparative advantages of both plans? The plan of the old city of Firuzabad was a perfect circle of 1950 meters in diameter, which was divided into twenty sectors by a precise geometric system of twenty radial and several concentric streets. It was surrounded by a main wall of stamped earth, a ditch 35 meters wide, and a fore-wall. Inside the town an inner wall set off the circular city center, which was probably the site for official buildings. The structures here and in the surrounding residential sectors must have been of mud brick, with two exceptions: The stone-mortar-masonry constructions of Takht-e Nešîn and the Terbâl. The Takht-e Nešîn is actually the ruin of a cubical free-stone building with four rooms protruding from its four sides, the central room covered by a brick dome of 14 m in diameter. It was probably Ardašîr's fire temple, mentioned in the Kâr-nâmag and other sources. Some small Achaemenid-type column shafts nearby, often used as evidence for ascribing an Achaemenid date for the building, differ from each other and were certainly brought here for a secondary use. The tower-like Terbâl stands at the very center of the city. The Terbâl is a pier of rough stone masonry 9 meters square and more than 30 meters high. It was the core of a stair- tower; with the width of the destroyed stairs and outer walls added, it must have been about 20 meters long on a side. It was thought to have had a winding external stairway and to have been a descendant of the ziggurat. More likely, it was part of a palace or government building, and perhaps symbolized the divine and centralist kingship of Ardašîr's new state ideology, though this semiotic function of the tower need not have precluded its practical use. The tower provided visual contact with the fortifications above the main access road to the plain in the gorge of Tang-âb. Besides this military function, the tower might also have been used for surveying when the planning scheme of the town and plain was laid out. This scheme continues the concentric and radiant pattern of the town, at first up to an enclosure wall, forming a twenty-cornered polygon nearly 8 kilometers in diameter. Beyond this, the radials, consisting of traces of canals, paths, walls, and field borders continue up to 10 kilometers from the central tower. The two perpendicular main axes of the scheme, determined by the axes of the tower and the four main gates, which are marked by four wide breaches in the city wall, lead to ruins of Ardašîr's building Jennifer Purtle Page 6 2/9/2014 program: a mud-brick ruin with a round moat and Sassanian surface pottery 9.5 kilometers southeast of the city center was probably a fort, guarding the eastern entrance to the plain. Some 4.5 kilometers northwest of the city are traces of a garden designed with a circular pool and a building on a hill, also with Sassanian pottery. An arrangement of walls on a mountain plateau 6 kilometers northeast may indicate a cemetery. About 10 kilometers southwest, at the outlet of the river from the plain, are the remains of water conduits and of a single arched aqueduct. In an arid neighboring valley, beyond a mountain ridge, a wall, most probably of an aqueduct, runs exactly north-south in line with the tower beyond the ridge. The aqueduct was fed from springs in the eastern Fîrûzâbâd plain by a rock canal, penetrating the ridge by a rock tunnel. This is probably the actual background for the ancient and medieval reports about Ardašîr's cutting through a mountain. Although Firuzabad remained a famous town and district into early Islamic times, Ardašîr's capital was eclipsed even in Sassanian times when his son Šâpûr built his residence of Bîšâpûr 300 km to the west. Late Sassanian coins from Qal´a-ye Dokhtar prove its importance as one of the last strongholds against the Arab invaders. Fîrûzâbâd was favored by the Buyids, who may have carried out construction work at the great palace. Medieval chronicles compare the town with the three most beautiful places of the Islamic world and especially praise its roses, rose-water, and other essences. However, there are few noteworthy Islamic monuments. Michel de Certeau, in a section of his The Practice of Everyday Life, entitled “Walking in the City,” writes: “Seeing Manhattan from the 110 floor of the World Trade Center. Beneath the haze stirred up by the winds, the urban island, a sea in the middle of the sea, lifts up the skyscrapers over Wall Street, sinks down at Greenwich, then rises again to the crests of Midtown... (91) The ordinary practitioners of the city live “down below,” below the thresholds at which visibility begins. They walk – an elementary form of this experience of the city; they are walkers, Wandersmaenner, whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban text they write without being able to read it. (93)” How might the viewer/subject have experienced these cities differently? How do these cities differently construct access? Visual experience??? The logic of the city??? Jennifer Purtle Page 7 2/9/2014 Slide #18– th L: Iraq, 10 cent., sthash ware R: Tang, Sancai, 8 cent. Commerce and the sharing of aesthetic values: What is the aesthetic and technological relation of these 2 pieces? Which belongs to Chang’an, and which to Persia? How does commerce constitute the relation of these pieces? What does it mean to share aesthetics? How does commerce foster/not foster the sharing of aesthetic values? What does it mean to share aesthetics? How does commerce foster this? Slide #19– L: Ardeshir/Firuzabad R: Plan of Palace City of Anhag, Pyongyang, North Korea, pre 668 Seven structures define the axis of imperial palaces at Anhag, palace city of Pyongyang, capital of the Koguryo Kingdom prior to 668 when it fell to the Silla. Similar to Japanese capitals of the next century, the enclosed Korean palace city was surrounded by only one outer wall. The influence of Chinese planning – and of the Tang model in particular – is evident in the detached eastern palace, residence of the crown prince in China, and the pond in the southeast, patterned after the Serpentine Creek of Chang’an. Are there any similarities on the plans of Firuzabad and Anhag??? [None: circles in the Anhag plan are intended to show the squareness of the building.] Slide #20– L: Ctesiphon: Palace of Shapur: Arch with Rosettes 251-300 CE, Sassanian. R: Tile (am-maksae) with grapevine scroll, Unified Silla, Korea, 7 -8 cent. th Commerce and sharing of almost unnoticeable details: How are these pieces similar? Different? Any idea where they come from? How does trade transmit artistic ideas, styles, types, tastes??? Commerce/ What kinds of things do you trade to produce this kind of similarity? Itinerant artisans and commercial contact. Grape motif – transferring from Near East and Chinese Central Asia to Korea, where there are no grapes. Jennifer Purtle Page 8 2/9/2014 Slide #21– L: Plan of Palace City of Anhag, Pyongyang, North Korea R: Plan of Fujiwara kyo (694-710), modern Nara The concept of a permanent capital for the Japanese state was outlined in the Taika reforms of 645, but it was not until the reign of Emperor Temmu ( r. 673-686) that a site was chosen and laid out. There is an excellent account of the building of Fujiwara-kyo in Penelope Mason, pp. 42- 45. Most significantly, Fujiwara-kyo appears to have adapted the design of Tang dynasty Chang’an, perhaps as more directly known from built examples in Korea, to the geographic and material circumstances of its place in Japan. Commerce and tribute certainly shaped perceptions of what an archetypal capital city in the Chinese tradition might be; more local markets – the sources of land and building supplies – dictated the actual material form of Fujiwara kyo. To begin, Fujiwara-kyo was much smaller than Chang’an, which was more than four time Fujiwara kyo in area; additionally, Fujiwara kyo had a population of no more than 30,000 in comparison with the 1 million estimated to have resided within Chang’an’s walls, and a possible second million resident outside it. Materiality of the city itself: wood/thatch, not pounded earth/tile. *Commerce thus presents both solutions and limitations. Despite the ability of commerce to serve as a means by which artistic landscape is shaped, some elements of artistic landscape are also enduring, and cannot be refashioned in the face of new ideas: note the presence of a keyhole tomb to the South of Fujiwara-kyo. Experience as mediating factor Political and commercial contact Slide #22– L: Glass faceted cup, perhaps from Iran, 4-6 cent. CE, found in Korea R: Glass bowl with facets, alkaline lime glass, Shoso-in, 8 century. Overwhelmingly similar or different? Any guesses at distribution??? At the same time the people in Tang China, Koguryo and Silla in Korea, and in Nara Japan were learning to order their visual and material experiences through infrastructural paradigms circulated through commerce at its most broadly conceived, they were also learning to live in worlds not only populated by other people like them, but of objects and material goods current and shared throughout this larger network of metropoli and their hinterlands. Jennifer Purtle Page 9 2/9/2014 Two famous Japanese examples of bowls of this type—the one depicted here at right, from the Shoso-in collection, and another excavated from the tomb of emperor Ankan (r. 531-535). Both are a classic Sassanian type – numerous examples found in the Near East – but no evidence of whether or not these were traded to East Asia – possible because they are heavy and durable even now, unlike more fragile specimens of glass – or were the product of itinerant Near Eastern glass=makers who made their way to East Asia. Commerce and the sharing of material existence Slide #23– th th L: Glass Ewer, Syria, 4 -5 cents, CE, glass, with gold wire repair, from Korea. R: Glass Ewer, lead glass, Shoso-in, 8 century. Overwhelmingly similar or different? Any guesses at distribution??? Slide #24– L: Glass Ewer, Syria, 4 -5 cents, CE, glass, with gold wire repair, from Korea. th L: Glass Ewer, lead glass, Shoso-in, 8 centthy. R: Lacquered Chicken-headed ewer, 8 cent. Shoso-in R” Three Color ware pottery chicken-headed ewer How do commercial transactions inflect the relative status of these objects? How do their materials condition where or how they might be made, sold, traded? Commerce and social stratification Slide #25– C: Map of Metropolis Giving a picture of the major points between which goods are being traded. One obvious lacuna – Vietnam and the South. The protectorate of Annam -- that more or less corresponds to modern Vietnam – was one of several protectorates established on the Tang frontiers – to the West in the Tarim Basin, to the North in Mongolia, and to the East in Korea; the function of these protectorates was, of course, not to protect these people from other barbarians, but rather to imbricate them in Chinese empire and cultural landscape so as to protect greater China from them. In the lore of the Tang, Annam was a place both dangerous and desirable, known for its exotic people – in particular its women, divine beings, minerals, plants, animals. Tang poets celebrated the rich, sensual world of the South, as in a poem by Xu Hun, Jennifer Purtle Page 10 2/9/2014 which notes: “The aroma of kumquat blossoms sweeps over the angler’s mole – The delightful woman still dances in her dress of Viet gauze!” (Schafer 249) Even those assigned to service or banished there, such as Song Zhiwen (dates) admitted – in their complaints – the delights of the place. Writes Song, “The mountain passes of Viet – compounded a thousand fold; The mountain streams of Man – slanting ten miles down. Bamboos entangle the wood boy’s track, Duckweed wraps round the fisherman’s house. The forest is darkened by interlaced liquidambar leave, The gardens are fragrant from a cover of tangerine blossoms. But who is my neighbor here beyond the wastes? To console my loneliness clouds and sunsets must suffice.” (Schafer, 249). The exile Shen Quanqi (ca. 656-713 CE) writing: “I have heard it said of Giao-chi That Southern habits penetrate one’s heart. Winter’s portion in brief; Three seasons are partial to the brightly wheeling sun.” (Taylor, 185-185) From inside the Viet consciousness, one local temple inscription states: “The Tang empire waxed and waned; The mountains and rivers of Hoan and Dien stand firm through the ages.” (Taylor, 191) Playing off lines of the famous Tang poet Du Fu: (712-770) “The state is destroyed, But the mountains and rivers remain.” Commerce and exoticism Slide #26– C: Map of Metropolis L: Biwa Seeing Vietnam in material objects; Vietnam only as a source of goods that are refashioned in more “civilized sites.” Few artifacts anywhere that record the integration of Vietnam into the tang state. Jennifer Purtle Page 11 2/9/2014 Commerce: trafficking in officials, human resources: The condition of artifacts mirrors that of indigenous administration. In 676, the Tang state sought to recruit more indigenous men from southern states for lower ranking offices. The memorial that seeks such bureaucrats states: “In recent years there have not been very many petitions to select indigenous leaders for official positions. From now on, let it be authorized according to old regulations, one time in four years, to distinguish the energetic, intelligent, pure, and upright, and to select them to fill up the vacancies of the fifth grade and above. “ (Taylor, 210). Even commerce and imperial bureacratic rules could not maintain the visibility of the periphery. Structures of value that governed goods from Vietnam prized them as commodities to be sold, and subsequently shaped into other things, a life very different for an object than say for a glass bowl transported from Iran to Korea or Japan. Commerce and invisibility of culture Material sources vs. cultural forms Slide #27– C: Chang’an L: Fujiwara kyo Commerce and the dissemination of models, ways of life, taste. Making people more similar culturally by socializing them to similar material worlds. Slide #28– C: Sancai ware th L: Bowl, 8 cent., Shoso-in How similar? How different? Where from? Relation? Can you hypothesize the commercial transactions that underpin the diffusion of three-colored wares? Commerce and aesthetic vs. quality Slide #29– C: Sancai ware L: Three-colored ware pagoda, 8 cent. Shoso-in How similar? How different? Where from? Relation? Can you hypothesize the commercial transactions that underpin the diffusion of three-colored wares? Jennifer Purtle Page 12 2/9/2014 Commerce > adaptability of markets and their demands No Chinese 3 color pagodas! What about materials and object realized? Commercial frameworks? Meaning? Slide #30– C: Map of Sancai distribution Commerce creating expansive networks of taste. Commerce and dissemination Slide #31– L: Heijo-kyo, Nara, ca. 710-784 R: Todai-ji, Great Buddha Hall as it stands today. 1697, 1705. What do you see when you look at the plan of Heijo-kyo, inhabited circa 710-784? How is it like or unlike the Chang’an plan? Growth and changing urban population: a principal reason cited for the abandonment of Fujiwara-kyo is population growth, and some believe that the population of Heijo-kyo was at least 60,000, thus doubling the population of Fujiwara-kyo. Even as commerce – broadly conceived transmitted the idea of an urban plan, one building project undertaken in Heijo-kyo subverted that plan: the building of the temple of Toodai-ji, or the Great Eastern Temple, and the casting of its colossal Buddha. The devoutly Buddhist Emperor Shomu ordered the temple’s construction while residing at Shigaraki, and work on this temple was begun there. In 745, however, Emperor Shomu returned to Nara and land surrounding the hermitage of the famous Kegon master Rooben (dates) was selected as the site, a site that measured the equivalent of sixty-four blocks While the plan included two pagodas, its principal feature would be a colossal Vairocaina (Birushana) Buddha, housed in a wooden structure. The Great Buddha Hall visible today dates to 1697 and 1709, and replaces earlier structures destroyed by fire – more recently during a period of civil war in 1567; previously, the Great Buddha Hall was burned in 1180 and restored in 1185. Commerce > dissemination Adaptation: local markets vs. long geography of markets in trade networks. Jennifer Purtle Page 13 2/9/2014 Slide #32– L: Heijo-kyo, Nara, ca. 710-784 R: Todai-ji, model of original Great Buddha Hall. Models of hypothetical reconstructions of the original hall, such as one shown at right, are the closest approximation we now have of what the building may have looked like. Slide #33– L: Heijo-kyo, Nara, ca. 710-784 R: Todai-ji, model of original Great Buddha Hall. R: Great Buddha, Todai-ji There is no evidence of the decision-making process by which Emperor Shomu arrived at the decision to make a colossal image of Vairocaina Buddha, that is, the cosmic Buddha. Any ideas? Value: What kinds of value? What is value? Is it only commercial? Almost intangible values. The choice of Vairocaina is an interesting one. For, among the many symbols associated with Vairocaina Buddha are the sun and moon, jewels of the cosmos inhabited by Vairocaina. Yet, in a temple placed at the Eastern edge of a Japanese capital, I have begun to argue in the draft of an article, that the choice of Vairocaina is anything but innocent: the installation of a Buddha of the cosmos, associated with the Sun – as well as the moon—at the eastern edge of a capital of a state that understood itself to be the root of the sun, and that understood its rulers to be descendants of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu neatly cleaves pre-Buddhist ideology of Japanese cosmological location and significance to the new iconography of Buddhism. Slide #34– L: Yungang R: Great Buddha, Todai-ji Moreover, it does so in a material rhetoric of wide currency. That is, it takes thethorm of a colossal Buddha, a type of Buddha springing up across Asian in the 4-th through 7 centuries, make famous by the accounts of pilgrims and travelers who saw them. Establishing value through comparison, conforming to models Value and quantity, scale. Trade in religious ideology and ideas for making monuments swirled together to create conditions under which unprecedented objects might be made. Slide #35– L: Work on Great Buddha R: Great Buddha, Todai-ji Jennifer Purtle Page 14 2/9/2014 In an East Asian world closely connected through paths of trade, canonical Chinese texts became only more familiar. Within the tang state, the Empress Wu Zetian (625-705, r. 684-705) to legitimate her breakaway state of the Zhou, commissioned a set of Nine tripods in 696; monumental scale – each about I Chinese yard and eight Chinese feet tall; decorated with pictorial reliefs of the “mountains and rivers and natural products of each province.” in order to reinstantiate the rhetoric of the Nine tripods,, which allowed for the conceptualization of the consolidation of political and cultural power through economic transactions – a kind of commerce, if you will. Value of scale – in stone, natural material In bronze > monetization of the image, bronze sculpture as massive lump of money, fungible wealth. Slide #36– L: Materials for Great Buddha R: Great Buddha, Todai-ji Just as metal for the Nine tripods was sources from the peripheries internal to the Chinese empire, bronze with which to cast the Great Buddha was sourced throughout the Japanese state – copper, tin, gold, and mercury. In this way, Emperor Shomu’s works project invoked an ancient Chinese paradigm for making monuments that display political authority over the internal regions of empire, even as that monument resonated with indigenous senses of religious and political authority, and communicated in the translingual idiom of Buddhist monumental sculpture. For, I should add, the great colossal Buddhas – at Bamiyan and at Yungang – were located within polyglot communities and were accessible on trade routes; indeed their scale is in part what permitted them to transcend language, and speak to their vi
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