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Chinese Bridges: Living Architecture from China's Past (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Juli 2008

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"This exquisitely illustrated volume gives more insight into the cultural and philosophical systems undergirding all forms of Chinese architecture than any book in recent years." —

"Splendid… [Chinese Bridges] is necessary reading for all who are interested in Chinese architecture, history and culture." —CHOICE

"[Chinese Bridges] definitely changes a person's view on what China is truly all about. It's truly worth checking it out!" —Aisha Kristine

"Getting a copy of Knapp's book CHINESE BRIDGES: A LIVING ARCHITECTURE FROM CHINA'S PAST is a must for anyone who has passion to create living utilities…" —Woman Elan Vital

"This is the kind of book that even if you have already finished reading you will never get tired of re-reading…" —Style Diaries

"Scholarly, detailed, beautifully illustrated." —Library Journal

"This exquisitely illustrated volume gives more insight into the cultural and philosophical systems under girding all forms of Chinese architecture than any book in recent years." —


Long admired for the technical and artistic ingenuity of their construction, bridges have always been a prominent feature of Chinese brush painting. Examining ancient and modern examples from all over China, this concise introduction explores the historical development of bridge building, with particular emphasis on regional variations in structural form and decoration. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 17 Rezensionen
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
When Function Meets Romantacism 3. Februar 2009
Von Marco Antonio Abarca - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
If there ever were structures that should follow the maxim that form follows function it would have to be bridges. It is impossible to imagine a more practical structure. Yet, "Chinese Bridges" shows what happens when the Chinese bring their own romantic, over the top aesthetic to the art of bridge building. The result is architectural intoxication of the highest order.

"Chinese Bridges" begins by cataloging the different styles of bridges and then moves to the spiritual dimensions the Chinese embued in their bridges. It concludes with detailed studies of individual bridges. These bridges range from humble vernacular bridges in China's heartland to the beautifully ornate bridges of the country's elites.

Ronald Knapp has been studying the rural architecture of China since 1965 and is one of foremost historian's of China's vernacular architecture. He is a strong writer and his text is well complimented by Chester Ong's beautiful photographs. "Chinese Bridges" is a complementary volume to Knapp's "Chinese Houses". Both are beautifully produced volumes and are a must purchase for fans of Chinese and vernacular architecture. These are two of the finest books in my collection. Highly recommended.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A treasure for Chinophiles! 27. November 2009
Von Dorothy Blair - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This most unusual book is my very favorite of all the China books in my collection! Ronald G. Knapp always turns out lovely books but this time he's outdone himself. China is full of marvelous and unique bridges and this book has gorgeous photos of many of them. What a visual feast. I am an artist and have visited China twice. Although I have LOTS of my own photos, this book will provide inspiration for years to come. Magnificent photography - photos I've never seen before. I was so sorry to get to the end of the book, I went back to the beginning and looked through it again! I love this book. If you love China and Chinese things, you'll love it too.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Bridges are for People 3. Oktober 2013
Von Ronald Suleski, Suffolk University, Boston - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This book delights on several levels. First are the stupendous photographs with brilliant colors and clarity of details. Who knew there are so many interesting historical bridges in China scattered throughout the country in all geographical locations? The photos by Chester Ong are all of first-rate quality and they show both the bridges and the particular natural environments in which they were built. In a few cases historical photographs show how the bridges looked over a hundred years ago, to show us how the bridges have been repaired or tarted up to serve their contemporary communities.

The second delight is the informative text by Ronald Knapp. His explanations comment on the type of materials used, some of the construction or design principles employed, and the most outstanding feature of the bridge. Never ponderous, the commentaries flow smoothly as a compliment to each photograph. The reader will find their eyes darting from the commentary back to the photo again and again because the commentaries and photos are so well integrated.

The third delight is that the bridges are respected not only as historical artifacts or marvels of engineering technology, usually built by local people who had no knowledge of engineering theory, but bridges are explained in terms of their role within each local community. Of course bridges helped people cross rivers and wetlands, but they served in other ways as well. Many bridges had temples to local deities, so they were a site for worship, usually by people asking the gods for protection and help. Bridges could be the site of local markets, where foot traffic was heavy and the chance to sell was enhanced. Some bridges were so elaborate that a tea house was built in the middle where travelers could stop for some refreshment and to admire the view from the top of the bridge at its highest arc. Indeed, most of the photos show the interaction of local people with the bridge, so expect to see farmers, children, workers or tourists taking advantage of and having fun on the bridge.

In sum, I liked this approach that sets each bridge in a wider context. On almost every page one will find the author's and photographer's emphasis on the interaction of community, people, the economy and geography with the bridges. This gave me an appreciation for the many roles played by bridges. They were much more than utilitarian conveniences, and in some instances even became the center-point of their community.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Photographic Beauty and Rigorous Discourse - Chinese Bridges 13. Dezember 2013
Von Andrew Eisenberg - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Chinese Bridges renders a substantive discussion of the structure, functions, and cultural relevance of traditional Chinese bridges accompanied by beautifully photographed images directly relevant to the textual discussion. This is an extraordinary integration of scholarly discussion and gorgeous photography. The book is divided into three parts: a discussion of the structural features of vernacular Chinese bridges featuring the traditional engineering that went into the building of these structures. This is followed by a section explaining the relationship of the bridge-building process and the final structure to local culture and religious beliefs. Knapp deftly illustrates the relevance of geomancy, local ritual traditions, and prophylactic magic to the construction and maintenance of these bridges, many of which are still in use deep in the Chinese countryside. The third section is a regionally based survey covering North China, the Lower Yangzi Region, the Southeast Coast, and Guangxi Province. My favorites are the ornate covered wooden bridges found in the Southeast Coast and Guangxi - all uniquely expressive of their respective regional cultures.

Knapp and Ong note in the "Acknowledgements" that this book is "... the first full treatment in English of China's remarkable covered [wooden] bridges..." This book also brings to the fore the function of bridges as integral parts of a pre-industrial world of travel and commerce. The bridges were (and to some extent still are) nodes in a network of overland roads, villages, and towns. Architecture, photographic beauty, and material culture are all brought to a stunning focus in this excellent text.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A wonderfully detailed, informative, and elegant celebration of China's long and diverse bridge building traditions. 23. Februar 2014
Von Christopher R. Coggins - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
As a professor of Geography and Asian Studies, I have long admired Ron Knapp's extensive and unparalleled work on China's vernacular architecture and village landscapes. This book is extraordinarily detailed and lavishly illustrated with both landscape paintings and Chester Ong's stunning photographs. The text and graphics are expertly and painstakingly paired, and the author and photographer know their subject extremely well, having taken the time to travel widely but also dig deeply into local bridge construction techniques and associated rituals and culture history. After a thorough survey of seven major types of bridges - step on block bridges, beam bridges, floating bridges, cantilevered bridges, arch bridges (of multiple kinds), covered bridges, and garden bridges, the geographer and the photographer take us on a tour of bridges in Chinese folk culture and through Chinese history. A close examination of 21 specific bridges or regional styles of bridges provides the most in-depth exploration of the breadth and depth of bridge building knowledge and culture in China that I have ever seen or head of. I recommend this book for people of all levels of expertise and interest in China's culture history - it is a delight to the senses and a very mindful approach to architectural features which combine practical utility with place magic. As Martin Heidegger noted, the bridge brings earth and sky, humans and divinities together. This book shows how and why this has been true for so many communities in China for such a long time.
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