Prof. Li Ling of Sichuan University lectures via Zoom on the story and depictions of Sama Jataka as part of the China Westward conference.

China Westward Conference – Prof. Li Ling (Sichuan University)

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.

Prof. Li Ling of Sichuan University in China delivered her lecture for China Westward as part of the conference’s second panel, Sculpting Faith, Painting Devotion: Buddhist Narratives, Visual Transmissions from South to East Asia. She presented on her paper, “Sāma/Syama Jataka in China: Focus on the Dazu Rock carving,” and whether the “shouldering parents” form of Sama Jataka images (only found in Dazu Rock Cave) should be viewed as Buddhist or pagan.

Watch the full talk via the Vimeo embedded video below or on YouTube.