Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual

Chinese Architecture and MetaphorChinese Architecture and Metaphor: Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual, by Jiren Feng, reveals significant and fascinating social and cultural phenomena in the most important primary text for the study of the Chinese building tradition. Unlike previous scholarship, which has reviewed this imperially commissioned architectural manual largely as a technical work, this volume considers the Yingzao Fashi’s unique literary value and explores the rich cultural implications in and behind its technical content.

“This fascinating and erudite study takes a fresh and original approach to the most significant document in Chinese architectural history. Taking the terminology and textual strategies of the Yingzao fashi as his starting point, and drawing both on literature and on the structures and aesthetics of surviving buildings, Jiren Feng develops a complex and sophisticated cultural analysis of the text and of Chinese historical traditions of architectural writing more broadly, demonstrating that matter and metaphor cannot be disentangled in Chinese architectural thinking and practice. As well as being an argument about architecture, this is a study of poetics and of sensibilities, and a history of the meaning of grand buildings in Chinese cosmology and politics.” —Francesca Bray, University of Edinburgh

June 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3363-3 / $53.00 (CLOTH)
Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture
Published in association with Hong Kong University Press