The publication was prepared under the grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 15-21-10001
The article deals with conference “Folk Images and Late Imperial China” which was held in the State Museum of the History of Religion and the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia) in St. Petersburg on June 29–30, 2017. It was the first event of this kind within the framework of Russian-Taiwanese collaboration in arts and humanities in the past several decades. The location of the conference holds special significance. The history of Chinese studies in St. Petersburg goes back almost 300 years. A central figure in the history of Chinese studies in St. Petersburg is that of Academician V. M. Alekseev, a collector and researcher of Chinese folk art. His collection was divided between St. Petersburg’s, or Leningrad’s at the time, leading museums and research centres. Approximately 1000 sheets from this collection are now at the State Museum of the History of Religion. In 2015, a Russian-Taiwanese research group was created to study this museum collection, which led to the publication of a number of articles in Russian, Chinese, and English by Russian and Taiwanese members of the research group. The conference “Folk Images in Late Imperial China” held in St. Petersburg served not only to present the results of the project, but also to engage the leading researchers of Chinese folk art and religion from Taiwan and St. Petersburg. The conference included 26 papers on Chinese folk images in Russian and international museum collections, the symbolism of Chinese folk images and semiological structure of myth, the evolution of Chinese folk images in the 20th century, the art of nianhua in contemporary China and Taiwan, the interaction of high and folk culture in Chinese art, Chinese religious syncretism and its portrayal in art.
Key words: Chinese folk art and popular beliefs, Chinese studies in St. Petersburg, museum collections
About the author
Pavel A. Tugarinov – Junior researcher at Scientific Methodical Department, the State Museum of the History of Religion; 14 Pochtamtskaya str., St. Petersburg, Russia, 190000; email@example.com