About reading Chinese landscapes – Some thoughts on Zhao Mengfu (1254 – 1322)

14 July 2022, 18:30
Lecture by Prof. Kai Marchal, National Chengchi University (Taipei)
(The date has to be cancelled due to illness. An alternative date has not yet been fixed.)

Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies, logo
Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies, logo
National Central Library von Taiwan, logo
Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, logo
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, logo

About the lecture

In my lecture, I would like to look with a keen, philosophically sharpened eye at the landscape images by Zhao Mengfu (1254 – 1322). Zhao is one of the most famous exponents of the so-called scholars' painting, who went on to have a long-lasting impact on the further development of Chinese art history. It is frequently emphasised that in the course of his long career, a transition manifested itself from realistic representation to abstract, pure brushwork. I will point out a number of central features of Zhao’s style by analysing a representative selection of his works. Subsequently, I would like to discuss the question (in the light of Martin Powers, François Cheng, François Jullien, Mathias Obert and others) how philosophical and religious concepts of reality, imagery, meaning and empty space have left their mark on the artistic practice of this painter. This will not least lead us to the question of how an aesthetic experience of the other is possible at all.

Moderation: Prof. Hans van Ess, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich

Personal data

Kai Marchal teaches philosophy at the National Chengchi University at Taipei. Among his research interests, there are the history of Chinese philosophy, ethics and transcultural political theory. Together with Michael Hampe, he recently published the book “Weisheit. Neun Versuche” (Matthes & Seitz Berlin, 2021).

About the series of lectures

The lecture forms part of the international series of lectures "Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies" and is organised jointly by the National Central Library of Taiwan, the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Information overview

Date14 July 2022, 18:30
(The date has to be cancelled due to illness. An alternative date has not yet been fixed.)
VenueBayerische Staatsbibliothek, Friedrich-von-Gärtner-Saal, 1st floor
Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 Munich
Public transportUnderground lines U3/U6, bus lines 150/153/154, station/bus stop Universität
Bus line 100/153, bus stop Von-der-Tann-Strasse
RegistrationPlease register by e-mail to or by calling +49 89 28638-2115
The number of attendees is limited.
AdmissionAdmission is free.