The Memory of Landscape in Beijing


  • Hui Zou


The paper studies the memory of landscape in Beijing and its significance to communicative spaces. The research focuses on historical coincidences between Beijing and ancient Chinese capitals to reveal the historicity of landscape in Beijing. The research analyzes the polarized relationship between imperial land- scape and scholarly landscape in Chinese capitals to discover the cultural role of mnemonic landscape for the identity of a city as well as the freedom of human individuality. The paper interprets the planning of a capital as recorded in earliest Chinese literature, compares suburban landscapes and urban gardens in the capitals of the Western Han, Northern Wei, and Tang dynasties, configures the map of mnemonic land- scapes in Beijing of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and discloses the hidden landscape enclaves in modern Beijing. The paper concludes with a historical criticism regarding urbanization in contemporary China.