Visual and Material Cultures of Ming China

Empire of Great Brightness: Visual and Material Culture of Ming China, 1368–1644, by Craig Clunas, is an innovative and accessible history of a high point in Chinese culture, seen through the riches of its images and objects. Not a simple emperor-by-emperor history, it instead introduces the reader to themes that provide stimulating and original points of entry to the culture of China: to ideas of motion and rest, to the position occupied by writing and objects featuring writing; to ideas about pleasure, about violence and ageing.

Craig Clunas is the author of Superfluous Things: Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China and Elegant Debts: The Social Art of Wen Zhengming, both published by University of Hawai‘i Press.

August 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3149-3 / $59.00 (CLOTH)