Cosponsor(s): Organized by the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art and cosponsored by the Princeton University Art Museum, the Department of Art and Archaeology, the East Asian Studies Program, and the Buddhist Studies Workshop.
Strategically located on the edge of the Taklamakan desert in northwestern China, at the convergence of the ancient northern and southern trade routes (popularly known as the Silk Road), Dunhuang has long captivated explorers, Sinologists, and art historians, among many others. The Mogao Caves, the largest Buddhist cave complex in the area, with nearly 500 cave temples filled with murals and sculpture, has inspired and will continue to inspire scholarship on an inexhaustible range of topics. During its period of activity, from the 4th to the 14th century, the Mogao Caves, often simply referred to as “Dunhuang,” served as a center for Buddhism and a gateway for the movement of people, ideas, and goods between China and Central Asia. This symposium takes Dunhuang as a point of departure to explore other regions, artistic production, and ideas along the Silk Road.