CHINA HERITAGE QUARTERLY China Heritage Project, The Australian National University ISSN 1833-8461
No. 24, December 2010


Ernst Boerschmann's China

Fig.1 Water-quelling beast 鎮水獸 at the Fen River 汾河, Taiyuan 太原, Shanxi province. Photograph: Ernst Boerschmann

We end the year 2010 with a focus on Ernst Boerschmann's archive of photographic images of late-imperial China. During his extensive travels in the Qing Empire on the eve of revolutionary change a century ago Boerschmann chronicled, as well as artistically captured, a world of buildings, landscapes and sights with an exacting eye, as well as with subtlety and unique grace. This issue of China Heritage Quarterly recollects his achievement in both words and in image, as well as offering a meditation on the significance of this photographer and architectural historian's work in understanding China, and its conflicted heritage, today. We are also very fortunate to be able to introduce the Research Project on Ernst Boerschmann at Berlin University of Technology under the direction of Eduard Kögel.

In T'ien Hsia we expand our own archive on New Sinology by reproducing the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Liu Ts'un-yan 柳存仁, presented at The Australian National University on 5 October 1966, and by publishing the description of a project initiated by Carolyn Cartier and Tim Oakes, 'Vast Land of Borders'. The Shanghai historian and cultural critic Xu Jilin 许纪霖 offers sombre personal reflections on China's 'examination hell' and its broader meaning, while a decade-old essay by the Editor is reproduced here as a prelude to more concerted thoughts and reflections on a century of revolution, reaction and reform in China that will feature in our issues in 2011, the anniversary year of the momentous 1911 Xinhai Revolution (Xinhai Geming 辛亥革命).

In the Articles section we update readers on the Long Bow Appeal, offer an account of the re-imagined (and heavily engineered) heritage of Qujiang 曲江 in the city of Xi'an 西安 and revisit the fate of the Forbidden City in the Cultural Revolution. Duncan Campbell recollects the monumental effort of Zhu Yizun 朱彝尊 to create an encyclopaedic account of the Qing dynastic capital during its eighteenth-century heyday, while considering a cheerless encounter with the city that has replaced it.

New Scholarship features a report on a symposium on Qing gardens and a research note on the currency of the term the 'Qianlong Garden' (Qianlong Huayuan 乾隆花園). We are also delighted to publish a series of translations related to calligraphy from the remarkable Song essayist, statesman and poet Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修.

I am grateful to Nancy Berliner of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, for guiding us to the work of Eduard Kögel in Berlin. My thanks also to Daniel Sanderson for his assistance in editing, design and layout, as well as for his suggestion that we add further readings and links at the end of our articles. Another new development in this issue is the introduction of an RSS feed to which readers can subscribe by following the link at the top of the page.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the Australian Research Council which, through a Federation Fellowship awarded to me in 2005, has for the past five years supported a range of research, fieldwork and publishing ventures, including post-doctoral work, the research of PhD scholars and other academics, related to Beijing, its history and modern China. That fellowship formally came to an end in December 2010, although related research and publishing plans will continue to bear fruit over the following years. More details related to the fellowship and its results will be made available 'in due season'.

—Geremie R. Barmé, The Editor


Redologist Extraordinaire Zhou Ruchang's 周汝昌 Demise

Seasonal Blossoms and Three Friends in Winter: Lois Conner at the Met

Official Ban on Phoney Provenance Stories

The Growing Great Wall

The Great Wall East and West

The Chinese Internet: Individual Expression and Collective Suppression

An Ancient Chinese Kitchen