2018 Yenching Academy in Xixinan: Exploring Ancient Hui Culture & Architecture

May 10 – 13, 2018
Turenscape Academy in collaboration with
Yenching Academy of Peking University presents
Exploring Ancient Hui Culture & Architecture Workshop

Xixinan (西溪南) refers to the village south of the western brook. It is an untouched village that goes back 1,200 years and well known as the hub where great artists, poets and calligraphers assembled. Attracted by the natural beauty, Ming Dynasty calligrapher, Zhu Zhishan (1460-1526) and Qing Dynasty Chinese landscape painter and poet, Shi Tao (1642-1707) were known to have resided in Xixinan and drawn their inspiration from the tranquil, picturesque village.

Xixinan (西溪南) embodies the rich Hui culture, a civilization that originated in southern Anhui province in China. It is manifested in the cultural heritage of the mountainous region, such as fascinating Hui architecture, precious relics, classical ancestral homes, Chinese ink paintings, poetry and carvings. Meandering through the ancient villages like Chengkan (呈坎) and Hongcun (宏村) is like viewing a historical museum, which reflects life during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Against this background, Turenscape Academy is proud to collaborate with students from the Masters China Studies program at Yenching Academy as they research and explore extraordinary environments that combine art, history, culture, ecology, architecture, and natural beauty.

Led by Yenching Academy Academic Director and Professor of History, Prof. Yang Lu as part of the History of Chinese Religion course, the extraordinary trip will allow students to: 

  • Understand the unique heritage water systems of ancient villages
  • Explore the characteristics of ancient Hui-style architecture
  • Discover the rich history of ancient Huizhou
  • Employ strategies for heritage cultural preservation


Heritage water systems

The rich and fertile Xin An River (新安江)feeds into Feng Le River (丰乐河), which runs through Xixinan village. Xixinan’s strategic location near the Feng Le River has cultivated the villagers’ unique water intelligence since pre-Song Dynasty eras, around A.D. 500. Even before the village was fully developed, dams were constructed to prevent floods in rainy seasons and act as reservoirs in times of drought. Ancient dams including the Old Stone Dam and the Thunder Dam were constructed in A.D. 527 and 1278, respectively, and both are still used for water management today.


Workshop Highlights

Explore Ancient Villages
Experience History and Culture
Learn from Experts

Explore Ancient Villages

Xixinan 西溪南

Chengkan 呈坎

Hongcun 宏村

Experience History and Culture

Hui Opera

Hui Ink

Hui Architecture

Learn from Experts

Professor Yang Lu
Professor, History Department, Peking University
Academic Director, Yenching Academy
Ph.D., East Asian Studies, Princeton University
Research Fields: Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasty Politics & Culture, Chinese Medieval Buddhist Culture and Comparative Historical Studies


Email: academy_dp@turenscape.com
Mobile numbers:18201521972 Ms Wang ; 15712966956 Ms Li
Wechat:To contact us, please scan the QR codes.

Start Time

12:00 am

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Finish Time

11:59 pm

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Anhui Province