Loading Events
This event has passed.
Research Postgraduate Seminar

The Empire of Paper: Pictures of Chinese Papermaking Made in Late Imperial China and Their Social Lives in Early Modern World

Date: 16 November 2023 (Thursday)
Time: 5:00-6:20pm 
Venue: CPD 1.44 Room 10.28, 10/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Speaker: Summer Xiaomin Wen, PhD candidate, HKU


My research investigates a series of Chinese papermaking album produced in Qing China and traveled to France throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. These albums entail a consecutive program of step-by-step scenes, each of which dedicates to a specific procedure of producing bamboo paper. Despite their shared thematic focus on bamboo papermaking, many identical technical procedures demonstrated in the scenes, these albums take on distinct artistic languages. The variety of these albums nicely exemplify the visual diversity of pictures of papermaking produced in later imperial China while each of the albums captures its dynamic relationship with respective historical context. The intersection of art, culture, and technology embodied in these papermaking picture albums offers a fascinating lens through which to examine the history of technology, labour production in both Qing China and France, and Sino-European interaction in the early modern world.

Share this story!