Woodenfish Foundation, in collaboration with the Dunhuang Research Academy, co-hosted approximately 50 international and domestic Chinese scholars during 3 days of scholarly panel discussions with the world's most renowned scholars on East Asian Buddhism and a two-day tour of the Mogao and Yulin Grottoes.
The conference was held in honor of Master Hsing Yun, who turns 90 years old in 2016; in honor of Stanley Weinstein, Emeritus Professor at Yale; in honor of Lew Lancaster, Emeritus Professor at UC Berkeley, for their great contributions to Buddhism.
Woodenfish invited dozens of international scholars, and the panel discussions that occurred during the course of the Dunhuang conference covered a diversity of topics from the pedagogy of sutra translation, digital translation, the application of translations, to Chinese perspective on sutra translations.
In addition, thanks to the generous support and collaboration with the Dunhuang Academy, all conference go-ers received incredible access to the Mogao and Yulin caves. The caves are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, and as such are dutifully preserved and the general public typically may only access fewer than 10 of the 492 caves. However, our group was granted unrestricted access with accompaniment from Dunhuang guides. This allowed our group of renowned scholars and PhD students to see first-hand the caves that some had only seen or studied from books or photographs. For those who can't make it to Dunhuang, the Getty Museum from May 7-September 4, 2016 is exhibiting full replicas of particular caves from Dunhuang. Though, of course the best is to see the original!
The successful event in Dunhuang will likely be followed up by more collaborative events to promote the cross-pollination of Chinese and international Buddhist scholars as well as the promotion of Chinese heritage and valued treasures. In the future, Woodenfish hopes to again work with Dunhuang Academy to continue to support the ongoing research of Dunhuang by Chinese and international scholars alike.