Event Details

WHAT: "Dunhuang - a fresh view, through the lens of James and Lucy Lo" an online RASBJ talk by Dr. Dora Ching, moderated by Dr. Neil Schmid, followed by Q&A.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sep14, 2022 from 8:00 - 9:00 PM Beijing Time


In 1943–44, James and Lucy Lo traveled to Dunhuang in northwest China to photograph the Mogao and Yulin Caves there. These caves, from their earliest construction to the present, have been visualized by many observers, beginning with the planners, builders, and artists who made the caves from the 4th through the 14th century, extending to twentieth-century explorers, conservators, and photographers and twenty-first-century scholars and artists. The Los, through their self-directed eighteen-month expedition, created an archive of photographs which captured the sites as they were in the 1940s, providing not only historic and documentary photographs but also a trove of breathtaking artistic images. Dr Ching has masterminded the preservation and presentation of these images in 9 sumptuous volumes that combine scholarship and aesthetics.

For a look into Visualizing Dunhuang: The Lo Archive Photographs of the Mogao and Yulin Caves (9 vols):


For a glimpse into the printing process:


HOW MUCH: This online event is free for RASBJ members, members of partner RAS branches, and special guests of the speaker and moderator, including Princeton students, alumni, and faculty members. RMB 100 for non-members.

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT: Please click "Register" or "I Will Attend" and follow the instructions. After successful registration you'll receive a confirmation email with a link to join the event. If you seem not to have received it, please check your spam folder.

Members of partner RAS branches and Special Guests: Please register in the correct ticket category at least 72 hours in advance to allow time for verification. You'll receive two emails from us, the first confirming receipt of your registration request and the second confirming your registration, with a link to join the event. Please check your spam folder to ensure you see all RASBJ emails.


  • Dora Ching (Speaker)

    Dora Ching


    Dr Dora C.Y. Ching, deputy director of the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art at Princeton University and specialist in East Asian art, engages in research on issues of identity and function in portraiture, the interplay of aesthetics and literati culture in calligraphy, and the transmission of art and ideas along the Silk Road. In 2021 she published nine volumes on the Buddhist caves in Dunhuang in northwest China and the historic Lo Archive of 1940s photographs of the site.
    She received her BA from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Princeton University.

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  • Neil Schmid (Moderator)

    Neil Schmid


    Dr. Neil Schmid is Research Professor at the Dunhuang Academy and Cooperation Partner at the BuddhistRoad Project, Ruhr-Universität Bochum. His scholarship centres on Dunhuang and explores a range of topics, including the role of Buddhist literature in ritual and art, medieval economic development, Esoteric Buddhism, and the ritual aesthetics of painting and architectural space of the Mogao Caves. He is currently at work on several monographs, including From Byzantium to Japan: Ritual Objects and Religious Exchanges Across Eurasia in Late Antiquity, tracing the flow of exotic goods and ritual paraphernalia along the Silk Road, and the first-ever critical bibliographical survey of Dunhuang materials, entitled The Comprehensive Guide to Scholarly Resources for Dunhuang Studies.

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