"Mapping the Middle Kingdom and its Capital Beijing"

Mapping the Middle Kingdom and its Capital Beijing

Chinese Scholars, Jesuit Priests, Anti-Opium Commissioner Lin Zexu, and the Land of People with Three Heads

All_under_Heaven_China_MapDid you know that even though maps have been used in China for over 2000 years and that the Chinese had invented woodblock printing as long ago as the Tang dynasty, until the twentieth century the majority of Chinese maps were still produced with a brush? Or that in 1688 the Chinese Emperor Kangxi hired a group of French Jesuit priests who started a 30-year project to map all of the Middle Kingdom, the maps from which were still being used by foreign explorers in the 1920s and 30s to navigate around China? Or, indeed, that the famous anti-opium commissioner Lin Zexu, risked his life by collecting and translating Western geographical works on China and publishing his own book revolutionizing the way the Chinese viewed themselves and their place in the world?

Told through numerous beautiful antique maps of China and Beijing, many of which will be on display, "Mapping the Middle Kingdom" recounts tales of how both Chinese and foreign maps of China developed over time, how the Chinese viewed the world and vice versa, where the Land of People with Three Heads was located, and why the British Empire was nearly always painted in pink! Come to listen to these along with many other fascinating stories related to maps in China and beijing and maybe it will be the start of your own collection....who knows?

The talk will be held by Simon Rom Gjeroe