Global Liberal Studies / Center for Global Asia

Qutan Monastery Project

瞿 昙 寺 研 究 项 目 提 案

纽 约 大 学 / 上 海 纽 约 大 学


Revitalizing, Re-energizing, and Safeguarding the Cultural Heritage Contents on the Digital Platform


Digital conservation of cultural heritage, born-digital heritage conservation and heritage restoration of the digital/analogue work assist to integrate the tangible and intangible heritage on the digital platform. Digital heritage contents, as the extension of cultural heritage, help to broaden the format of heritage narrative in the digital realm. The Qutan Monastery Project strives to safeguard, sustain, and revitalize the Asia heritage contents in the digital realm.

Documentary photo  by

Chen Wu-Wei


Project Narrative

    Qutan Monastery Project is the team-based, collaborative research project to revitalize, reconnect, and reenergize the tangible/intangible heritage conservation through the digital platform.  Qutan monastery was established in the Ming Dynasty of China. The major conservation dated back in the 1990s by scholars, conservators, and the Bureau of Cultural Relics of China. The mural paintings, unearthed cultural objects, the wooden carpentry structure of the monastery, the literary works related to the monastery, and the comparative studies around the Ming dynasty, are the abundant contexts to explore. Mural paintings/structural form and iconography research on the open-access platform online assist scholars with limited accessibility to study the monastery. 


​项 目 概 述​​


Project Team

研 究 团 队

Dr. Nancy M. Reale

南希・瑞尔 博士

Primary Investigator

    When, as a graduate student, I taught my first class (Desire and Deceit in Renaissance Fiction), I knew that I would continue to teach. I soon found my academic home in what is now NYU Liberal Studies, a program whose approach to interdisciplinary education was in many respects in accord with my own. In my roles as academic coordinator (1987- 1995) and instructor, I have sought to bring to students an appreciation of the arts and an understanding of the ways various academic disciplines and modalities of thought complement one another. My formal doctoral training is in late medieval and Renaissance literature, and I have continued to work in that field, but my real joy is found the classroom, in a commitment to experiencing along with my students how all the arts are interconnected and how they embody discrete imaginative processes and ways of knowing the world. When we interrogate various art forms, we are always communicating with other minds and cultures, and we are also talking to one another about deep convictions, questions, and aspirations. Thus, the work we do fosters communication, tolerance, and intellectual and emotional growth, and I seek to underscore this so that students will see in their studies of sometimes seemingly distant cultures an immediacy about which they can become excited and with which they can engage. With this in mind, I have dedicated much of my thirty-two years in LS to developing pedagogical resources for the program as well as for my own classes.

Dr. Chen Wu-Wei

陈无畏 博士


    Dr. Chen integrates the concepts of 3D visualization, interactive info-motion design and digital sculpting into digital heritage contents development. Dr. Chen also hosts digital heritage forum at SIGGRAPH Asia and invites experts of interdisciplinary areas (museum contes, architecture, urban planning, curation and aesthetics) for sharing. Chen's latest papers are accepted by CIPA , DCH and Springer publication.


Ms. Ann Shaftel

​沙瑞安 女士


 Ann Shaftel is a renowned senior expert in conservation and preservation. With fifty years of experience working to preserve Buddhist cultural heritage treasures for museums and monasteries, she enjoys world-wide acclaim as a master of conservation and preservation. Her fields of expertise include paintings, wall paintings, objects, textiles, texts and monastic architecture. Mme. Shaftel is also highly knowledgeable about digital documentation within World Heritage sites, museums and monasteries. Mme. Shaftel is an acclaimed lecturer, author and teacher of international workshops on the conservation of Buddhist relics, as well as a scholar of Buddhist iconography. She is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation, a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation, and Member Canadian Association of Professional Conservators, ICOMOS and ICOM.

Research Interests

   Qutan Monastery Project focuses on the conservation records of the mural paintings, architecture, objects, and literary works. The iconography of the site will also be the main focus and further expand to the connections with the deities, dharma, structures, and the surroundings.


研 究 方 向