Chinese Cultural Inaccuracy and the Necessity of Detailed Regulations in Chinese Conservation Practices

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


The early introducing process of architectural conservation between 1928 and 1946 is a hint foreshadowing later development in the whole narratives of the Chinese practice. The discipline of heritage protection has never been a tradition in the Chinese socio-culture. As a result of the changing regimes and the movement of domestic ideology in the Chinese society, the architectural conservation of China consists four main phases with broadening scope applied to city-scale conservation strategies. By looking into the introduction, translation of foreign references and the evolution of the concept of conservation by multiple generation architects in China, this paper argues that conservation related issues have always initiated from promulgation of legislation with knowledge abroad throughout the particular history of conservation movement. Both academia and government have utilized such promulgation to ensure hierarchically the discourse authority and the right to speak rather than specific conservation and restoration measures in practices. The missing conservation theory foundation in China have led this particular discipline unlikely being independent from the other common subjects which the public can perceive and learn from. Apart from this, through analysing the cultural and ethical reflections on Chinese tradition and, the transition of conservation theory from blank field to authority centred practices, it also argues that the inherent inaccuracy in Chinese culture for expression has generated diverse interpretations of the term ‘heritage conservation’ and consequent inappropriate activities and approaches which have not been restrained and monitored by current laws and regulations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventICAS 11 (Eleventh International Convention of Asia Scholars) - University of Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 16 Jul 201919 Jul 2019


ConferenceICAS 11 (Eleventh International Convention of Asia Scholars)
Abbreviated titleICAS 11


  • heritage discourse


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