China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
“The disarrayed hills conceal an old monastery” is a famous poem depicting the situation of Chinese Buddhist Monasteries in the mountains. The article tries to understand the philosophical thoughts behind the phenomenon as well as the dialectical relationship between conceal and reveal from the perspectives of paintings, literature and philosophy. Thus, it establishes a theoretical model of architectural critique based on the core concept of “between conceal and reveal” through quantitative analysis of their relative relationship. Guoqing Monastery in Tiantai Mountain is selected as a typical case to analyze how the theoretical model reflects in the spatial layout. By studying the historical paintings, travel notes and modeling of Guoqing Monastery, it dissects the historical evolution of layout as well as the details of spatial formation. It indicates that “between conceal and reveal” is not only the ideology of guiding the layout planning of mountain monastery, but also the methodology of handling the specific spatial relationship. It is also the true feeling of Buddhist monks and believers when they experience the monastery.