Presented by the Fairbank Center—and generously supported by the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies, the Department of History of Art and Architecture, the Department of South Asian Studies, the Harvard FAS CAMLab, and the Harvard China Fund—China Westward: Reimagining the Interwoven Material and Cultural Histories of China, Central Asia, and the Himalayas (October 14 – 15, 2023) was organized by Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, and Eugene Y. Wang, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, together with 2022-23 An Wang Fellows Chai-Yee Leow and Li Shuai and PhD students Michael Norton and Sophie Xiaofei Lei. The weekend-long conference featured six panels and 18 lectures exploring various understandings of ancient interactions between China and the “Western Regions” through art, religion, ritual, and astrology—and providing new insights into early Chinese civilization and its global context in the process.
Professor Huo Wei of Sichuan University joined China Westward via Zoom to give his lecture as part of the conference’s first panel, Transmission, Exchange, and Diffusion: Insights from Tibet, China, and Sogdiana. He presented on his paper, “The Eastern and Western Systems of Bronze Handle-Mirrors in Tibet and Their Cultural Diffusion and Exchanges,” which primarily concerns the archaeological discovery of bronze hand-mirrors in Tibet, artifacts that provide “a vivid example of the long-distance, cross-regional interaction among archaeological cultures in different regions from the Bronze Age to the early Iron Age.”