Acuoye Guanyin. Nanzhao Kingdom, 9th century AD, Yunnan Provincial Museum, Kunming

The Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms flourished in what is now southwest China (mainly in Yunnan province) as well as parts of Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. The Kingdoms were strategically located, influenced by Tibetan, Tang (618–907) and Song (960-1279) dynasty cultures, as well as civilisations in Southeast Asia, and they produced unique and important Buddhist art forms.

The Research Centre will:

• develop understanding of the Buddhist material from the Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms which is scattered in collections around the world
• enhance academic research, as well as the preservation of existing collections
• advance international academic communication and cooperation
• develop the training of young professionals

Over the next few years, the Centre will:

• promote and strengthen cultural and academic exchanges
• develop joint research projects
• organise academic seminars, lectures and symposia
• publish academic work in both Chinese and English
• initiate collaborative exhibitions in China, Singapore and the UK

The Research Centre has three founding partners:

• Northumbria University
• Yunnan Provincial Museum
• The Woon Brothers Foundation, Singapore.

In the future, we are looking forward to welcoming other organisations, institutions and foundations to join the IRC to support the academic research of Nanzhao-Dali culture and art.

Northumbria University also has important works from the Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms from the Woon Brothers Foundation Collection on display in the Woon Gallery of Asian Art.

For information contact Shichun Lei, Senior Research Assistant: shichun.lei@northumbria.ac.uk