Event: Pizza Talk: "Digital Buddhism: 3D Modeling and Photogrammetry in the Study of Chinese Buddhist Architecture"

Date & Time

October 11, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Contact Information

Matthew Swanson


Fowler A222

Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Speaker: Dr. Di Luo, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Global Asia, New York University Shanghai

Buddhist architecture in China since the 11th century has often featured miniature pagodas and pavilions in the interior. These downsized "buildings," appearing in ceiling domes and murals and sometimes functioning as altars, bookcases, and reliquaries, assumed the role of the "holy of holies" of the space. My study of these miniatures focuses on the scaling principles they adhered to, the woodworking tradition they epitomized, and the religious significance of the phenomenon of miniature-making. The downscaling procedure, I argue, was not a purely technological problem, but deeply rooted in the Buddhist view of the composition and formation of our world. This Buddhist ideal was best demonstrated by a hierarchical set of numerals found in miniature architecture. With the assistance of digital tools, we are able to expose and scrutinize the fascinating numerical relationships existed in Buddhist architecture.