I have featured the art historian Dorothy C Wong’s talks on this site before. She is Professor of East Asian Art at the University of Virginia and a particularly good presenter. The full title of the talk was “Making Merit: East Asian Buddhist Material Culture of the Seventh and Eighth Centuries.”
Today’s talk was given at the Rare Book School and her main focus are two seminal personalities from medieval China: Xuan Zang and Empress Wu Zhao (Wu Zetian), and their role in the propagation of Buddhism in the Tang dynasty.
Aside from his many other accomplishments it may be said that Xuan Zang was the originator of mass production. After he made a vow to make 100,000,000 images of the Buddha, the only way to do this being through mass production via image molds.
This interestingly led on to the first printed books which shared the same sort of technology as image production, and the first dated printed book in the world goes back to China in 868 CE. Prof. Wong sets all this out, and more, including how Indian images spread to China, and then on to Korea and Japan.
The introduction is about 5 minutes, and gives good biographical information about the speaker; and at the end is a 10 minute question and answer session. If you want to learn more from Prof. Wong there are numerous articles for free download on her university website; and more of her talks can be found on this website.
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a complete set of the graphics used in the talk can be found below
to see an album of stills click here