Nos­tal­gic Vil­lages and Ar­chi­tec­ture

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Shi, pol­ished by Png Yu Fung

Nos­tal­gia of China records the re­mains of Chi­nese tra­di­tional vil­lages and the state of eco­log­i­cal civil­i­sa­tion, while Beijing An­cient Ar­chi­tec­ture Se­ries shares knowl­edge about an­cient ar­chi­tec­tural cul­ture of Beijing.

While rush­ing about in an ur­ban con­crete for­est or walk­ing among a busy crowd, have you ever paused for a mo­ment to think about life in a coun­try­side?

Be­fore the World Read­ing Day, the ten­vol­ume Xiang­chou · Zhong­guo (Nos­tal­gia of China) planned and pub­lished by Beijing Pub­lish­ing Group was re­leased. This set of first­hand vis­ual and tex­tual ma­te­ri­als with high cul­tural and artis­tic value records the re­mains of Chi­nese tra­di­tional vil­lages and the state of eco­log­i­cal civil­i­sa­tion that will arouse peo­ple's mem­o­ries of moun­tains and rivers in the coun­try­side.

Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu (Beijing An­cient Ar­chi­tec­ture Se­ries) compiled by the Beijing Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage and the Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu Ed­i­to­rial Com­mit­tee and pub­lished by Beijing Arts and Pho­tog­ra­phy Pub­lish­ing House is sim­i­lar to Xiang­chou · Zhong­guo in many as­pects. Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu also con­sists of 10 volumes, great pho­tos and ac­com­pa­ny­ing es­says, is easy to un­der­stand and plays an ex­tra­or­di­nary role of help­ing peo­ple to un­der­stand the city's his­tor­i­cal time and space and gain real knowl­edge about an­cient ar­chi­tec­tural cul­ture of Beijing.

The Search for Beau­ti­ful Vil­lages

Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu is a feast of ar­chi­tec­tural cul­ture jointly of­fered by the Beijing Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage, Beijing In­sti­tute for Re­search on An­cient Ar­chi­tec­ture and Beijing Arts and Pho­tog­ra­phy Pub­lish­ing House to read­ers.

The 100 tra­di­tional vil­lages in­cluded in Xiang­chou · Zhong­guo from Hemu Vil­lage near the north-west­ern bor­der in the west of Jin­jiang Log Cabin Vil­lage, in the depths of the Chang­bai Moun­tain in the east rang­ing in lat­i­tude from 16°N to 54°N and in lon­gi­tude from 72°E to 136°E are or­dered ac­cord­ing to sun­rise times. Like the sun al­ways ris­ing and set­ting, and day al­ways al­ter­nat­ing with night, the an­cient vil­lages are everlasting. The 100 vil­lages in­clude Xu­jia Com­mu­nity, Jin­jiang Log Cabin and Fosi vil­lages.

Al­most all of these vil­lages are tra­di­tional vil­lages with the most pe­cu­liar Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics and most nos­tal­gic at­mos­phere recog­nised by the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage and rel­e­vant in­sti­tu­tions.

Per­haps peo­ple can­not visit all of these

an­cient tra­di­tional vil­lages, but they can read Xiang­chou · Zhong­guo to ap­pre­ci­ate the pro­found and last­ing his­tor­i­cal tra­di­tions, tra­di­tional build­ings with unique char­ac­ter­is­tics, sim­ple lo­cal cus­toms and sin­cere emo­tions, and feel nos­tal­gia in their busy city life. The huge amounts of beau­ti­ful pho­tos in the book will also be a mag­nif­i­cent vis­ual feast to read­ers.

In­stead of fol­low­ing the tra­di­tional pub­lish­ing rou­tine, Beijing Pub­lish­ing Group so­licited pho­tos and texts on the theme of “nos­tal­gia” from the whole so­ci­ety, and es­tab­lished an as­sess­ment com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of fa­mous pho­tog­ra­phers such as Xie Hai­long, Qin Datang and Yu Yun­tian. Some great pho­tos and texts about “nos­tal­gia” were ob­tained and 50 out­stand­ing can­di­dates were se­lected pre­lim­i­nar­ily.

Af­ter un­der­go­ing train­ing in Chi­nese tra­di­tional vil­lage cul­ture, these 50 can­di­dates were dis­patched to spe­cific tra­di­tional vil­lages for ob­ser­va­tion, ex­pe­ri­ence, photo shoot­ing and writ­ing, and each of them sub­mit­ted sur­vey re­ports and pho­tos. Fi­nally, the ed­i­to­rial com­mit­tee se­lected the best pho­tos and texts sub­mit­ted by them, and compiled a se­ries of books. All con­tents in the books are in a Chi­nese-english bilin­gual for­mat, pro­vid­ing a brand new per­spec­tive for Chi­nese read­ers to know the vil­lages and feel nos­tal­gia and at the same time, open­ing a win­dow for for­eign friends to know China.

Ap­pre­ci­at­ing the Charm of An­cient Build­ings

Over the years, through in- depth sur­vey and study of his­tor­i­cal build­ings in Beijing and re­ly­ing on cred­i­ble ma­te­ri­als, the ed­i­tors of Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu se­lected more than 200 rep­re­sen­ta­tive, typ­i­cal and unique his­tor­i­cal build­ings of dif­fer­ent lev­els from more than 3,500 his­tor­i­cal build­ings in Beijing, and edited ten books, in­clud­ing Chengyuan

( city walls), Gong­dian (palaces), and

Qita Wenwu Jianzhu (other his­tor­i­cal build­ings), with a to­tal of more than one mil­lion char­ac­ters, more than 3,000 colour pho­tos and his­tor­i­cal pho­tos and more than 1,000 plot­ting charts and di­a­grams.

The Beijing In­sti­tute for Re­search on An­cient Ar­chi­tec­ture has many sci­en­tific re­search per­son­nel with pro­fes­sional knowl­edge about an­cient ar­chi­tec­ture and many his­tor­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture project de­sign per­son­nel with much prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. They par­tic­i­pated in many book pub­lish­ing projects re­lated to Beijing's an­cient build­ings. Their writ­ings ac­cu­rately and ef­fec­tively trans­ferred gen­eral knowl­edge about an­cient ar­chi­tec­tural cul­ture to the pub­lic and built a bridge of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the academia and the pub­lic. Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu is the crys­tal­liza­tion of the hard work of these per­son­nel.

Through de­scrib­ing the his­tory, over­all de­vel­op­ment and ar­chi­tec­tural char­ac­ter­is­tics of each type of build­ings, the se­ries of books in­tro­duces the beauty and rich cul­tural con­no­ta­tions of each an­cient build­ing, and tells sto­ries about rep­re­sen­ta­tive pro­tec­tion projects that are rarely known.

The book Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu: Gong­dian in­cludes a brief in­tro­duc­tion to the de­vel­op­ment his­tory of an­cient palaces in Beijing and their ar­chi­tec­tural char­ac­ter­is­tics as well as ex­am­ples of ex­ist­ing palace build­ings in Beijing. The ex­am­ples in­clude ex­ist­ing build­ings in the im­pe­rial palace of the Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties in Beijing— the For­bid­den City and some palaces for the em­per­ors' tem­po­rary stays, arranged ac­cord­ing to the or­der of “the For­bid­den City first, palaces for the em­per­ors' tem­po­rary stays sec­ond.”

Af­ter read­ing the whole book, one would feel as if he or she has vis­ited the most clas­sic and bril­liant palaces in Beijing and gone through the long his­tory of the city. Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu: Chengyuan tries to sys­tem­at­i­cally show and record rep­re­sen­ta­tive and typ­i­cal ex­ist­ing an­cient walls in Beijing, in­clud­ing a lot of draw­ings and pho­tos. The book con­tains a brief in­tro­duc­tion to the de­vel­op­ment his­tory of city walls in Beijing and their ar­chi­tec­tural char­ac­ter­is­tics as well as ex­am­ples of ex­ist­ing city walls in Beijing. Af­ter fin­ish­ing the book, read­ers would see Beijing's city walls in a dif­fer­ent light.

Beijing Gu­jian Wen­hua Cong­shu plays an im­por­tant role in pop­u­lar­is­ing and pass­ing on knowl­edge about Chi­nese an­cient ar­chi­tec­ture and pro­tec­tion of fa­mous his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural cities. It also en­light­ens read­ers by dis­cussing the styles, char­ac­ter­is­tics and de­vel­op­ment pat­terns of Eastern and West­ern build­ings in do­mes­tic and over­seas cir­cles of ar­chi­tec­tural stud­ies and pro­mot­ing the mod­ern world build­ing in­dus­try's de­vel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion.

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