China’s Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation

Chinas-Living-Houses-Folk-Beliefs-Symbols-and-Household-Ornamentation China's Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation
Chinas-Living-Houses-Folk-Beliefs-Symbols-and-Household-Ornamentation China's Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation
Editions:Paperback
ISBN: 978-0824820794
goodreads China's Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation
It has been said that for the Chinese "a house is a living symbol" one endowed with meaning and the result of conscious action. This well-written and copiously illustrated book reveals dwellings as the dynamic entities that express the vitality of Chinese families as each journeys through life. As Ronald G. Knapp has shown in earlier studies of Chinese vernacular architecture, the spaces and structures that comprise dwellings throughout China are replete with striking meanings, echoing the most fundamental aspects of Chinese culture. China's Living Houses is the first book in any language to explore comprehensively the extraordinarily complex links among folk beliefs and household ornamentation across time, space, and social class.China's Living Houses includes traditional and modern drawings and photographs taken by the author throughout China over the past thirty years. Specialists and students of China in many disciplines will appreciate the author's wide-ranging approach that relates symbols and folklore to their use in daily life. The book will also be relevant to general readers interested in understanding popular beliefs (particularly fengshui) and the cross-cultural meaning of dwellings around the world.
Excerpt:

Ronald G. Knapp

Ronald G. Knapp has been carrying out research on the cultural and historical geography of China's countryside since 1965 and more recently in the United States.

Trained in geography and history at Stetson University (BA 1962) and the University of Pittsburgh (PhD 1968), he has analyzed, celebrated, and promoted understanding of China's domestic architectural heritage through his writings and lectures. His early interest in local historical geography has led to two new books focusing on regions of the United States.

He is the author, editor, or contributor of more than 20 books, including China's Traditional Rural Architecture: A Cultural Geography of the Common House (1986), which was the first book in English to introduce Chinese vernacular architecture to Western readers. It is remarkable that this pioneering book appeared fully one hundred years after Japanese vernacular architecture was introduced to the English-speaking world.

For the past decade, he has worked with the well-known photographer A. Chester Ong on a growing family of books published by Periplus/Tuttle that combine fine photography with authoritative texts. Their collaborative work has taken them from China to Southeast Asia where they have documented the little known domestic architecture in the Chinese diaspora.

In recent years, he has returned to an early interest in the history of transportation as he has collaborated with Terry Miller and Chester Ong on researching covered bridges throughout North America, a project that took four years of fieldwork throughout the United States and Canada. Their book AMERICA'S COVERED BRIDGES: PRACTICAL CROSSINGS AND NOSTALGIC ICONS was published in early 2014.

His most recent book is THE GUNKS (Shawangunk Mountains) RIDGE AND VALLEY TOWNS THROUGH TIME with Michael Neil O'Donnell. With a range of significant THEN historical photographs--many of which have never been published--they are complemented with NOW photographs contributed by Fred Gerty, Maxine Kamin, Glenn Koehler, Susan Koehler,

Susan Lehrer, Michael Neil O’Donnell, Carol Rietsma.

Knapp taught from 1968 through 2001 in the Department of Geography and Asian Studies Program at the State University of New York, New Paltz. He holds the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

He enjoys hiking and 'reading the landscape' whether in the US northeast or in China. Since 1987, he has served on the Board of of Mohonk Preserve, New York's largest not-for-profit nature preserve, and was its President from 2004-2013.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Univ of Hawaii Pr (July 1, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 185 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0824820797
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0824820794
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.35 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.5 x 0.25 x 10 inches

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