Nostalgic Villages and Architecture
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.