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A Chinese word on image : Zheng Qiao (1104-1162) and his thought on images

Kategorier: Konst Konst: allmänt Konstteori

A Chinese word on image : Zheng Qiao (1104-1162) and his thought on images

Kategorier: Konst Konst: allmänt Konstteori
Zheng Qiao (1104-1162) was a Chinese historian who lived during the Song dynasty (960-1279), and the author of the comprehensive history of China Tong zhi (General history), which includes a special treatise on images called Tu pu lüe (Treatise on images and tables). Image-related comments and practices can also be found in several other parts of Tong zhi, as well as in other remaining texts of Zheng Qiao. This study focuses on Zheng Qiao s thought on images. His image-related texts are translated, commented, and analysed; his life and works are outlined; the influence of his thought on images in Chinese history is exemplified; and his concerns on images and the study of images are connected to traditional Chinese thought, as well as to some of our contemporary discussions concerning images. In his texts on images, Zheng Qiao expounded the equal importance of images (tu), by comparing them with writings/words (shu); characterized what an image (tu) is and the function of different types of images; explained why images are indispensable in various solid learning , such as astronomy, geography, architecture, historiography and linguistics; analyzed the reason for the loss of images and the tradition of using images during the dynasties; blamed the traditional bibliographers whose methods suited only preserving books with pure texts but not images and who caused the loss of images; criticized the current scholarly trend that emphasized words but despised images; advocated tu xue (image studies) as a fundamental scholarship of all learning; and contributed to the domain of images not only in theory but also in practice. In this study, a brief account of Zheng Qiao s life and works as a general background is provided. Zheng Qiao s major text on images Tu pu lüe is translated, interpreted and analyzed, and his other comments on images shown elsewhere in Tong zhi are collected and summarized thematically. His influence on later Chinese scholars and their image theories and practices in using images is exemplified, which relates Zheng Qiao to a wider context and historical background. Since this study is written in English and classical Chinese texts are interpreted and translated, conceptual premises need to be established. Hence, problematic English terms such as image and its cognates are discussed by examining some current Western image theories. Chinese terms, such as tu and xiang, are also discussed, with the focus on how they were generally used before and after Zheng Qiao. Zheng Qiao is the first scholar we know about who, at length, expounded the importance of images and propagated the image studies, to its essence very close to our view today. His words on images deserve to be looked at as a milestone in the ongoing process of establishing a genealogy of the history of images and image studies