“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Royal Asiatic Society Beijing – REDISCOVERING BEIJING: THE WESTERN HILLS OF THE OLD DAYS (via Zoom with Matthew Hu) – 8/5/20

Posted: May 7th, 2020 | No Comments »

REDISCOVERING BEIJING: THE WESTERN HILLS OF THE OLD DAYS

AN RASBJ ONLINE TALK BY MATTHEW HU XINYU

WHAT: Temples, gardens and tombs of the Western Hills, evoking a bygone era, are introduced by cultural heritage preservation expert Matthew Hu Xinyu, followed by QA.
WHEN: May 8, Friday,19:00-20:00 Beijing Standard Time
WHERE:Online via Zoom
HOW MUCH: Free and accessible exclusively to RASBJ members and RAS affiliates worldwide. If you know someone who wishes to join the RASBJ please ask them to Wechat JohnOlbrich at johnobeijing. See www.rasbj.org for details.
HOW TO BECOME AN RASBJ MEMBER:If you’d like to become an RASBJ member (or, for PRC passport-holders, to become an Associate) please befriend Treasurer John Olbrich on Wechat at johnobeijing and send him your name, nationality, mobile number and email address plus the annual subscription amount (or, for Associates, the suggested donation) of RMB 300 for those resident in China, RMB 200 for those resident overseas and RMB 100 for students. If you join RASBJ by May 6, you’ll receive login details for this event.

MORE ABOUT THE EVENT: For two months, Beijing’s hutongs and museums were closed due to the pandemic, yet a number of imperial parks in the Western Hills remained open. During successive dynasties, many imperial palaces, gardens, private residences, temples and tombs were built among the Western Hills, and that tradition continued during the first three decades of the Republican era. Matthew Hu Xinyu made use of the opportunity created by Covid-19 to re-visit this often overlooked area. From Tan Zhe Si, the oldest temple in Beijing, to the garden of French doctor Jean Jerome August Bussiere to the family tomb of the Republic of China’s first foreign minister, these rediscovered sites inspired Hu to delve into their history, dating back to the Jin Dynasty, and to bring to life the relics which we can still see today.
MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Matthew Hu, or Hu Xinyu 胡新宇, was born and raised in Beijing; he is the China Representative of the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and co-founder of The Courtyard Institute. He has a keen interest in the history and mystery of China, and in the world as a context and contrast. Previously he worked as a travel professional with Wild China, and was deeply involved with the Shijia Hutong Museum in Beijing. He’s been active in the field of Chinese cultural heritage preservation since 2006 and says he’ll continue to pursue that calling “perhaps for my lifetime.”

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