Field of Study
Years of Stay at HYI
Aug 2017 to Jul 2018
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Yang Xiaodong is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research has focused primarily on the development of Buddhist art in Medieval China, deeply involved with the Buddhist material culture of the southwest. As a result, his dissertation explores the social and political issues underlying the Sichuanese rock carvings associated with Liu Benzun 柳本尊 (855-907/939), a lay Buddhist who mutilated several parts of his own body between 886 and 906. By the time of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), Liu had become the center of a local religious movement in eastern Sichuan, which inspired the establishment of at least eighteen sites of monumental sculptures. By approaching these material remains, the study sketches out how a cult of “body modification” was able to find its way into the local society and how the worship of Liu reinforced or challenged the framework of valid and orthodox praxis on a popular level. Before joining the Department of Fine Arts, Yang studied Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2014-2016) and earned his M.S. in Landscape Architecture (2013) from Peking University. Intrigued by his personal interests, he works on a wide range of topics including art history, architecture, and landscape architecture. His latest work is focused on the Sichuanese rock carvings concerning Chan transmission tales, published in Volume 21 of Shiwu luntan 史物論壇.