2019
Prize Category 3: Positive Energy Prize
Specific Area of Focus: Nil

Ms. Fan Jinshi

CITATION

Fan Jinshi is awarded the LUI Che Woo Prize for Positive Energy for her lifelong (more than 56 years) devotion to and diligent guardianship of the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, a Chinese national as well as international cultural treasure, in Dunhuang, Gansu, China. 

She contributed significantly to the cause of preservation, protection, restoration, study and broad dissemination of the Dunhuang Grottoes.  She and her colleagues led the Dunhuang Academy through its most difficult period, during which traditional culture was denigrated and financial support was lacking.  She has overseen the digitisation of the wall paintings and sculpture in the caves so that they are now accessible to scholars and common people alike around the world. 

Her modernisation efforts have also set new standards for successful cultural preservation.  She has greatly advanced the archaeological and historical understanding of the significance of the Dunhuang Grottoes worldwide. 

Ms. Fan inspires positive energy through her personal example and success as a rare female archaeologist of her times, working in a remote area, heroically committed to seeing this to completion in the face of social and financial challenges.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Fan Jinshi was born on 9th July 1938 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. She has been working at the Dunhuang Cultural Relics Institute (today’s Dunhuang Academy) in 1963 ever since her graduation from the History Department of Peking University majoring in Archaeology. She had successively taken the posts as the deputy director of Dunhuang Cultural Relics Institute, deputy director of Dunhuang Academy, executive deputy-director of Dunhuang Academy, director of Dunhuang Academy. Now she is the honorary director and fellow of Dunhuang Academy, the chief editor of the journal Dunhuang Research. She also serves as the fellow of Central Research Institute of Culture and History, honorary chairlady of Dunhuang-Turpan Society of China, honorary chairlady of China Dunhuang Grottoes Conservation Research Foundation, and honorary president of Friends of Dunhuang (Hong Kong) Limited.

She has been engaging in Dunhuang Grottoes’ conservation and management and archaeological research for a long time, making great contribution to the conservation, research and propagation of the Caves and efficiently enhancing the modernisation of the scientific conservation and management of Dunhuang Caves. Her main academic publications include the Archaeological Report on Cave 266-275 of Mogao Grottoes, The Humanistic Preservation of Gansu Province-Roll of Fan Jinshi, The Collected Works of Dunhuang Grottoes: Buddha’s Narrative Stories. She is also the chief editor of The Collected Works of Dunhuang Grottoes (in total 26 rolls), Interpretation of Dunhuang, etc. She has published more than 100 articles, including Dating the Northern Dynasty Caves at the Mogao Grottoes, Dating the Sui Dynasty Caves at the Mogao Grottoes, Dating the Early Tang Dynasty Caves at the Mogao Grottoes, The Illustrations on Stories of Buddha's Life in Cave 290, Sutra Translation of Xuanzang and Dunhuang Wall Paintings, The History, Heritance and Revolutionary Development of Dunhuang Studies, For Eternal Preservation of Dunhuang-The Exploration on Conservation of Dunhuang Caves, The  Conservation and Management of Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, The Culture Self- consciousness and Responsibilities for Guardians of Mogao Grottoes to Conserve and Inherit the World Heritage, Eternal Dunhuang, etc.