Kucha and the Silk Road

Kucha and the Silk RoadSaturday, November 13, 2010

University of Southern California
Waite Phillips Hall (WPH) B27
9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

This one-day syposium explored the cave temples of Kucha, which rank among some of the most significant monuments along the ancient Silk Road. Located in what is now the westernmost part of China, these sites were once major centers of Buddhism and repositories of rich artistic practices sponsored by the Central Asian Kingdom of Kucha. Their later history was intertwined with the dissemination of Islam and the great game of empire-building across the region. This symposium brought together scholars from around the world to discuss a wide range of issues related to the study and preservation of major cave temples such as Kizil and Kumtura, as well as the place of Kucha in world history.

Panel 1: Visual Culture of Cave Temples

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Li Zhao, Kucha Academy of Xinjiang

  • The Study and Preservation of Kizil
    Tailaiti Wubuli, Kucha Academy of Xinjiang
  • Inscriptions and Other Writings from Kucha Caves
    Angela Howard, Rutgers University
  • The Visual Language of Meditation in the Décor of Kucha Caves
    Lothar von Falkenhausen, UCLA
  • Commentary

Panel 2: Past, Present, Future

2:30-5 p.m.
Valerie Hansen, Yale University

  • Situating Kucha in the History of the Silk Road
    Lilla Russell-Smith, Asian Art Museum, Berlin
  • Research and Conservation of Artifacts from Kucha in the Asian Art Museum of Berlin
    Bruce Zuckerman, USC
  • New Imaging Technologies for Kucha Wall Paintings
    Sonya Lee, USC
  • Commentary
  • This event was organized by Departments of Art History and East Asian Languages and Cultures at USC, with support from the Fisher Museum of Art International Museum Institute, the Visual Cultures of the Ancient World Initiative, East Asian Studies Center, and Center for Religion and Civic Culture. It is also is part of the Kucha Research and Database Project based at Yale University supported by the United States Department of Education.