Raoul Birnbaum lecture on Hongyi Dashi, Vancouver, March 17, 2015

Buddhism in Canada Buddhist Studies China Education Events Vancouver


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society and the UBC Buddhist Studies Forum are delighted to welcome Professor Raoul Birnbaum (University of California, Santa Cruz). He will present a lecture entitled,

“Biographical Imperatives, Autobiographical Pacts: Hongyi Dashi and the Construction of Buddhist Lives in 20th c. China”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | 3:00 to 4:30 pm
UBC | C.K. Choi Building | Room 120 | 1855 West Mall

The elusive monk Hongi Dashi (弘一大師, 1880-1942), one of the pre-eminent Buddhists of twentieth-century China, was a complex man who lived in a complex time. This talk looks to Hongyi’s great interest in studying, editing, and composing biographical and autobiographical texts, as well as his careful visual self-representations through calligraphic works, self-portraits, and posed photographs. What was he doing and why? What relation may all of this have to the later construction of texts and images that attempt to say something about him?

A PDF Poster may be downloaded here: Raoul Birnbaum Poster.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARaoul Birnbaum is a professor of Buddhist studies and Rebele Chair in History of Art & Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz. His publications include The Healing BuddhaStudies on the Mysteries of Mañjuśrī, and many other works. Current research focuses on two projects: a biographical study of the enigmatic and extravagantly talented Chinese Buddhist monk Hongyi; and a study of the seventeenth-century monk-painter Kuncan, as part of a larger project that will include a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in late 2016.

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