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13.30  Beyond the Boundary of Cultural Heritage: Resonance and Reflection of Time, Space and Language in Spatial Governance

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Incorporating “place” (Burra Charter) into cultural heritage studies promotes deeper deconstruction of “authenticity” and enrichments of local cultural meaning of heritage. Heritage, not only as a driving force, but also as cultural faith and values, has been engaged in negotiation of urban development in the Chinese past with polyphonic writing of history, space, and language in historic documents. Utilizing data from historical-ethnographic fieldwork of Sansheng Liubu (三省六部, the governmental system of three departments and six ministries) in Hangzhou, China, this paper adopts a trans-disciplinary approach to examine historic layers, spatial interface, and linguistic authenticity in keeping and expressing local heritage sites. Through a discursive interpretation of Wulin Historic Neighbourhood Gazetteers (武林坊巷志) and thorough description of urban heritage movements, this paper will demonstrate three dimensions of the spatial governance of local culture heritage to revitalize and interpret the past for conservation/preservation and innovation in a particular Chinese locality; the Historic and Cultural Neighbourhood of Southern Song Dynasty in Hangzhou, China. The temporal dimension will be examined with multiple layers of historical urban landscape through the historical transformation of heritage sites. The spatial dimension will be interpreted with geographic ritual organization of the royal capital, Hangzhou. The linguistic dimension will be demonstrated by the action research of heritage movements funded by the local government and engaged with scholars, investors, and local communities. The research will conclude with suggestions and implications of this multi-dimensional interpretation and preservation of local cultural heritage embracing the communication between the past and the present.

Yuanyuan Yao


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