Han Leran: Inscription in Kizil Cave Number Ten (1947)

Han Leran (1898–1947), a Korean-Chinese artist, studied art at the Shanghai Art academy and in France. Returned to China from Europe, he got involved in the conservation and documentation of cultural heritage sites in Northwestern China, which were mostly plundered by European, American and Japanese expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After his research on the Kizil Thousand Buddha caves in 1946 and 1947, he left a wall inscription expressing his deep devotion to this heritage site and its related culture. This piece of writing shows one of the first Chinese scientific research projects and appropriation of cultural remains of the countries bordering on Western China.

commented by Ji Young Park

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