A talk by: Jin Xu
Art History and Asian Studies
This talk discusses visual representations of vineyard gardens in 6th-century China. By focusing on the sarcophagus of Shi Jun or Wirkak (494-579 CE), a Sogdian immigrant from Central Asia, it explores a range of issues related to viticulture and wine making on the Silk Road, including the spread and transformation of Dionysian motifs, the entanglement between Buddhism and wine culture, and above all, the association of vineyard gardens with paradise.
Jin Xu is an assistant professor of Art History and Asian Studies at Vassar College. He received his PhD in art history at the University of Chicago. His research has been focusing on religious and cultural exchanges on the Silk Road as reflected in Chinese art during the sixth and seventh centuries AD. His articles appear in journals such as the Burlington Magazine, the Journal of Asian Studies, and the Sino-Platonic Papers. Currently he is writing a book manuscript titled “Beyond Boundaries: Sogdian Sarcophagi and the Art of an Immigrant Community in Early Medieval China.”