Reading Ryoanji: (De)Constructing an Asian Icon
A talk by Professor Kendall Brown, Asian Art History, Cal State Long Beach
Thursday, May 03, 2007
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
275 Dodd Hall
The stone garden at Ryoanji in Kyoto is an iconic landscape: an emblem of Japan, a symbol of Zen and perhaps even a marker for pre-modern Asian culture. Yet for all the rhetoric of authenticity and profundity, the actual history of the garden is highly problematic and its fame the product of the twentieth century. This talk surveys the contentious history of the garden and its modern interpretations, then analyzes how the temple administrators carefully stage the experience of the garden. It concludes by suggesting different kinds of tourist performance at the garden.
The Ryoanji garden has played an important role in the "inspiration and re-creation" of the Chinese garden.
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Tel: 310 825-8683