The Dissemination and Reception of the Indian St≈´pa in China between the Fourth and Seventh Centuries

Fall 2017 Grant Recipient

Graduate Student

Jinchao Zhao (Art and Architectural History) By connecting known Chinesest≈´pasdated before the seventh century CE to historical records and Buddhist scriptures translated in Chinese, my dissertation examines the dissemination and reception of the Indianst≈´pasin early medieval China. I argue that thest≈´pa's formal feature, symbolic meaning, and religious functions were in many cases transmitted separately or desynchronized in the early stage of its dissemination in China. I will address my research questions at three levels: the formal feature, the literary meaning, and the symbolic meaning ofst≈´pas. The current phase of my research studiesst≈´pasand relevant objects housed in the United States, especially the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.