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Bridges, the least known and understood of China's many wonders, are one of its most striking and resilient feats of architectural prowess. Chinese Bridges brings together a thorough look at the marvels of Chinese bridge design from one of the world's leading experts on Chinese culture and historical geography, Ronald G. Knapp. While many consider bridges to be merely utilitarian civil engineering, the bridges of China move beyond that stereotype, as many are undeniably dramatic, even majestic and daring. Chinese Bridges illustrates in detail 20 well-preserved ancient bridges along with descriptions and essays on the distinctive architectural elements shared by the various designs. For the first time in an English-language book, Chinese Bridges records scores of newly discovered bridges across China's vast landscape, illustrated with over 400 color photographs, as well as woodblock prints, historic images, paintings and line drawings.
China's art objects and traditionally manufactured products have long been sought by collectors—from porcelains and silk fabrics to furniture and even the lacquered chopsticks that are a distant relation to ones found in most Chinese restaurants. Things Chinese presents sixty distinctive items that are typical of Chinese culture and together open a special window onto the people, history, and society of the world's largest nation. Many of the objects are collectibles, and each has a story to tell. The objects relate to six major areas of cultural life: the home, the personal, arts & crafts, eating & drinking, entertainment, and religious practice. They include items both familiar and unfamiliar—from snuff bottles and calligraphy scrolls to moon cake molds and Mao memorabilia. Ronald Knapp's evocative text describes the history, cultural significance, and customs relating to each object, while Michael Freeman's superb photographs illustrate them. Together, text and photographs offer a unique look at the material culture of China and the aesthetics that inform it.
Over a period of several years, noted Chinese cultural historian Ronald G. Knapp traveled throughout Southeast Asia, searching out homes built by the first generations of successful Chinese settlers during the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. In Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia, Knapp presents an eye-opening account of how Chinese migration into Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam spawned a unique hybrid architectural style that combined Chinese, European, and local influences. Many of these overseas Chinese heritage homes are disappearing, but Knapp—along with renowned photographer A. Chester Ong—visited a number of the shophouses, bungalows, villas, and mansions that remain. More than three dozen of these elegant residences form the core of this book, and through essays, historic photographs, paintings, and line drawings, Knapp draws an illuminating portrait of each residence along with background information about the families who built and lived in them. These profiles reveal the entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese as well as their social and economic circumstances. A stunning marriage of scholarship and photography, Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia explores a little known branch of Chinese architecture and provides a new perspective on Chinese migration, settlement, and identity in Southeast Asia.
It has been said that for the Chinese "a house is a living symbol," one endowed with meaning and the result of conscious action. China's Living Houses is the first book in any language to explore comprehensively the extraordinarily complex links among folk beliefs and household ornamentation across time, space, and social class. Well-written and copiously illustrated, it reveals dwellings as dynamic entities that express the vitality of Chinese families as each journeys through life.
Across countries and centuries, this book explores a fundamental social and demographic change: the emergence of a planet of towns and cities. But it looks at this densification of human and economic relations through a specific lens, the increased connectivity triggered by strategic urban bridges. Bridges can be seen as founding milestones, buttonholes and laces of the urban fabric, as well as signatures of the built environment. As architectural objects and engineering feats, they directly reflect the technical achievements and aesthetical values of their time, as well as the socio-cultural context of their construction. The Bridge and the City tells and illustrates a universal love story, over space and time, from Rome and its Ponte Sant’Angelo (134 CE) and Paris and its Pont-Neuf (1607) to New York and its Brooklyn Bridge (1883) and Shanghai and its Nanpu Da Qiao (1991). An ode to the world’s most beautiful bridges, apprehended in their diverse historical settings, The Bridge and the City is an analytical and visual treasure that will delight bridge and city lovers on every continent. As places of encounters and exchanges, bridges have played a major role in the urbanization of our planet. Through the history of twenty-four cities, The Bridge and the City explains how these monuments have influenced urban development over all continents. The most fascinating cities in Europe—Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, London—all possess fantastic bridges. The same could be said about North American cities—New York, San Francisco—and cities in other regions of the world. Besides, the most famous bridges have almost always been erected at a critical juncture in the history of their host cities. It could be argued that “the bridge makes the city” because, in history, the city reaches a new dimension when its grand bridge is inaugurated. This was the case in Prague and Florence in the fourteenth century, in Mostar and Venice in the sixteenth century, in Paris and Isfahan in the seventeenth century, in New York and London in the nineteenth century, and in San Francisco and Shanghai in the twentieth century.
As many as 15,000 covered bridges were built in North America over the past 200 years. Fewer than 1,000 remain. In America's Covered Bridges, authors Terry E. Miller and Ronald G. Knapp tell the fascinating story of these bridges, how they were built, the technological breakthroughs required to construct them and above all the dedication and skill of their builders. Each wooden bridge, whether still standing or long gone, has a story to tell about the nature of America at the time—not only about its transportational needs, but the availability of materials and the technological prowess of the people who built it. Illustrated with some 550 historical and contemporary photos, paintings, and technical drawings of nearly 400 different covered bridges, America's Covered Bridges offers five readable chapters on the history, design and fate of America's covered bridges, plus related bridges in Canada. Most of the contemporary photography is by master photographer A. Chester Ong of Hong Kong. 55 photo essays on the most iconic bridges including: Cornish-Windsor Bridge between Vermont and New Hampshire Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge, Maine East Paden and West Paden (Twin Bridges), Pennsylvania Philippi Bridge, West Virginia Hortons Mill Bridge, Alabama Medora Bridge, Indiana Rock Mill Bridge, Ohio Knight's Ferry Bridge, California Perrault Bridge, Quebec, Canada Hartland Bridge, New Brunswick, Canada Over time, wooden bridges eventually gave way to ones made of iron, steel and concrete. An American icon, many covered bridges became obsolete and were replaced—others simply decayed and collapsed. Many more were swept away by natural disasters and fires. America's Covered Bridges is absolutely packed with fascinating stories and information passionately told by two leading experts on this subject. The book will be of tremendous interest to anyone interested in American history, carpentry and technological change.
Winner of ForeWord Magazine's Architecture "Book of the Year" Award! Exquisite examples of traditional dwellings are scattered throughout modern-day China. Chinese Houses focuses on 20 well-preserved traditional Chinese homes, presenting examples from a range of rural and metropolitan areas throughout China. The photographs of each are accompanied by extensive background information and historical content. An introductory essay examines the different types of Chinese homes and provides an overview of the rich regional variety of Chinese dwelling forms. It also provides insights into little-known design concepts that emphasize the flexibility, adaptability, and versatility of traditional building forms and the work of traditional craftsmen. Richly illustrated with photographs, woodblock prints, historic images, and line drawings, Chinese Houses portrays an architectural tradition of amazing range and resilience.

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