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Title: Miniature buildings in the Liao (907-1125) and the Northern Song (960-1127) periods
Author: Chen, Xin
ISNI:       0000 0003 5607 6445
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is concerned with the construction and uses of miniature buildings in the Liao (907-1125) and the Northern Song (960-1127) periods in China. These miniature buildings exploited the components of Chinese traditional architecture on a small or greatly reduced scale. To date no work has taken the position of this thesis to examine this corpus of miniature buildings that were used widely in tombs and temples as containers to provide coverings for coffins, and to hold images of deities, Buddhist relics and sutras, as seen in both archaeological discoveries and textual resources. The purpose of the thesis is to define this corpus and to consider its significance in the light of the functions that these tiny buildings fulfilled. This thesis proposes that these miniature buildings contributed a unique and indispensable part in presenting the positions of their owners in society. Made as containers, miniature buildings particularly emphasize decoration, which enabled viewers to make a connection with life-size buildings, in the ways of which they were fitted into an existing architectural hierarchied system in the deeply rooted tradition of the Liao and the Northern Song. The thesis makes considerable use of the concepts of reception, for the reaction of viewers to these miniature buildings defined also their reactions to the contents. Several types of analogies were achieved between full-scale buildings and miniature representations, as well as between their contents, which allowed specific types of interpretation of the miniature buildings as taking the roles of actual buildings and fictional structures. The thesis considers the use of miniature buildings as one of the ways in which complex ideas can be reinforced by material forms. A wider discussion on miniature models presents that the significance of miniaturization lies in the power of control that can be achieved by creating and using the miniature.
Supervisor: Rawson, Jessica Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of art and visual culture ; Architecture ; Archeology ; Materials studies (archaeology) ; History of Asia & Far East ; miniature ; models ; Liao ; Song ; China