Research Associate BuddhistRoad (01/2018 - 07/2019)
Former Postdoctoral Research Associate (Focus Group Media), Käte Hamburger Kolleg (until 12/2017)
Erika Forte (Ph. D. 2002 in Indian and East-Asian Art, Genoa University, Italy) is an expert on Buddhist art and archaeology in Eastern Central Asia and China. She studied Chinese Archaeology (MA 1997, Xi’an Northwest University, China) and received a University degree in Art History and Archaeology of Central Asia (1996, Università ‘La Sapienza’, Rome, Italy).
She has been a research associate of the National Research Network sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund “The Cultural History of the Western Himalaya from the 8th Century” (CHWH), from 2007-2013 at the University of Vienna, where she also taught Chinese Art and Archaeology within the Department of Sinology. She has been a permanent member of the joint Italian-Chinese Archaeological Excavation Project on the Buddhist site of the Fengxiansi Monastery in Longmen (Luoyang, China) from 1997 to 2005, and received a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Kyoto (Japan) in the years 2004-2006.
Her research focuses on the issues of cultural flow and the dynamics of Buddhist visual communication across Asia during the 1st millennium CE. Her research methodology combines the study of archaeological and artistic evidence with that of Chinese secular and religious (Buddhist) textual sources.
In the last years she has been exploring the cultural interconnection between the oases of the Tarim basin in Xinjiang, particularly Khotan, and adjacent regions – the Himalayas, China, and the Indian subcontinent. Her latest publications on this theme include the articles: “Khotan in the last quarter of the 1st millennium: is there artistic evidence of the interrelations between Khotan and Tibet? A preliminary survey” and “A journey ‘to the land on the other side.’ Buddhist pilgrimage and travelling objects from the oasis of Khotan” (forthcoming 2014).
She is the editor of the on-line bibliography database “Cultural History of the Western Himalaya and Adjacent Areas” and is currently co-editing the volume Crossing Borders: Tibet in dialogue with its Neighbors.
During her fellowship with us, Erika will work on a project entitled “Legendary accounts and Buddhist monasteries. An archeological and art-historical reassessment of ancient religious establishments in the Khotan oasis”.
Buddhist art and archaeology in Eastern Central Asia and in China
- Ph.D. Indian and East-Asian Art, Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy, 2002
- MA Chinese Archaeology, Xi'an Northwest University, China, 1997
- University degreee in Humanities. Art History and Archaeology of Central Asia, Università La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, 1996
Duration: April 2014 to March 2015
Project: Legendary accounts and Buddhist monasteries. An archaeological and art-historical reassessment of ancient religious establishments in the Khotan oasis (Xinjiang, China).
Forte, Erika (Fu Aili 富艾莉). “‘Bi’an’ zhi lü: fojiao chaosheng he Yutian lüzhou de lüxingwu ‘彼岸’之旅: 佛教朝聖和于闐綠洲的旅行物 [A journey to the ‘Land on the Other Side.’ Buddhist Pilgrimage and Travelling Objects from the oasis of Khotan],” Dunhuang Tulufan Yanjiu 敦煌吐魯番研究 Journal of the Dunhuang and Turfan Studies 18(2019): 331–356.
Forte, Erika. “Introduction.” BuddhistRoad Paper 6.1 Special Issue: Ancient Central Asian Networks. Rethinking the Interplay of Religions, Art and Politics across the Tarim Basin (5th–10th c.), ed. Erika Forte (2019): 4–7. Doi: 10.13154/rub.br.115.100. https://buddhistroad.ceres.rub.de/en/publications/.
Forte, Erika, ed. Ancient Central Asian Networks. Rethinking the Interplay of Religions, Art and Politics across the Tarim Basin (5th–10th c.), BuddhistRoad Paper 6.1 Special Issue (2019). https://buddhistroad.ceres.rub.de/en/publications/.
Meinert, Carmen, Henrik H. Sørensen, Erika Forte, and Yukiyo Kasai. “Dynamics in Buddhist Transfer in Eastern Central Asia 6th–14th Centuries: A Project Report.” Medieval Worlds 8 (2018): 126–134. doi: 10.1553/medievalworlds_no8_2018s126. https://doi.org/10.1553/medievalworlds_no8_2018s126.
Forte, Erika. “Centralità dell'oasi di Khotan nell'intercultura buddhista del primo millennio lungo i percorsi delle Vie della Seta.” In Archeologia delle Vie della Seta. Percorsi, immagini e cultura materiale, edited by Bruno Genito and Lucia Caterina, 31–46. Rome: ISMEO, 2017.
Nishimura, Yoko, Erika Forte, and Asanobu Kitamoto. “A New Method for Re-identifying Ancient Excavated Structures on the Silk Road: The Case of Kocho.” In The Ruins of Kocho, Traces of Wooden Architecture on the Ancient Silk Road, edited by Lilla Russel-Smith and Ines Konczak-Nagel, 59–68. Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, 2016.
Forte, Erika, Liang Junyan, Deborah Klimburg-Salter, Zhang Yun, and Helmut Tauscher, ed. Tibet in Dialogue with its Neighbours: History, Culture and Art of Central and Western Tibet, 8th to 15th Century. Beijing, Vienna: China Tibetology Publishing House, 2015.
Nishimura Yoko 西村陽子, Erika Forte (Fu Aili 富艾莉), Kitamoto Asanobu 北本朝農, and Zhang Yong 张勇. “Gaochang gucheng yiji de biding 高昌古城遗迹的比定. Identification of Ancient Remains at Karakhoja Site.” In Gaochang gucheng ji qi zhoubian diqu de kaogu gongzuo baogao (1902-1903 nian dongji) 高昌古城及其周边地区的考古工作报告(1902-1903年冬季) [Report on the Archaeological Exploration in the Ancient City of Gaochang and its Surroundings], edited by Xinjiang wenwu kaogu yanjusuo 新疆文物考古研究所and Tulufanxue yanjiuyuan 吐鲁番学研究院, 197–245. Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2015.
Forte, Erika (Fu Aili 富艾莉). “Bishamen haishi Sanzhi: Hetian Damagou Topulukedun 1 hao yizhi de yifu bihua xinshuo 毘沙門還是散脂: 和田達瑪溝托普魯克墩1號遺址的一幅壁畫新說 [Vaiśravaṇa or Saṃjñāya? A New Interpretation of a Wall Painting from Domoko Toplukdong Site no. 1, Khotan].” Yishushi yanjiu 藝術史研究The Study of Art History 17 (2015): 167–182.
Nishimura Yoko 西村陽子, Erika Forte (Fu Aili 富艾莉), Kitamoto Asanobu 北本朝農, and Zhang Yong 张勇. “Gudai chengshi yizhi Gaochang de yigou biding. Jiyu ditu shiliao pipan de Sizhou zhilu tanxiandui kaocha baogao zhenghe 古代城市遗址高昌的遗构比定 — 基于地图史料批判的丝绸之路探险队考察报告整合. Identification of Ancient Remains at Karakhoja Site. Integrated Analysis of Criticism of Maps, Photographs, and Satellite Images.” Xiyu wenshi 西域文史 Literature and History on the Western Regions 9 (2015): 155–202.
Forte, Erika. “A Journey ‘to the Land on the Other Side’: Buddhist Pilgrimage and Travelling Objects from the Oasis of Khotan.” In Cultural Flows across the Western Himalaya, edited by Patrick Mc Allister, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, and Helmut Krasser, 151–188. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015. http://austriaca.at/7585-8inhalt?frames=yes.
Forte, Erika (フォルテ•エリカ). “Khotan chiku Domoko hakken Toplukdong 1-gō butsuji to Gomati-dera densetsu コータン地區ドモコ發見トプルクトン1號佛寺と瞿摩帝寺傳説 Toplukdong Temple no. 1 in Domoko (Khotan) and the Legend of Gomatī Monastery.” In Takata Tokio kyōju taishoku kinen Tōhōgaku kenkyū ronshū. 高田時雄教授退職記念東方學研究論集. East Asian Studies. Festschrift in Honor of the Retirement of Professor TAKATA Tokio, edited by Tōhōgaku kenkyū ronshū kankōkai 東方學研究論集刊行會 [East Asian Studies Editorial Committee], 210–227. Kyoto: Rinsen Book, 2014.
Forte, Erika. “On a Wall Painting from Toplukdong Site no. 1 in Domoko: New Evidence of Vaiśravaṇa in Khotan?” In Changing Forms and Cultural Identity: Religious and Secular Iconographies. Papers from the 20th Conference of the European Association for South Asian Archaeology and Art held in Vienna from 4th to 9th of July 2010, edited by Deborah Klimburg-Salter and Linda Lojda, 215–224. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014.
Forte, Erika, ed. Online Bibliography Database: Cultural History of The Western Himalaya and Adjacent Areas, 2013. https://www.univie.ac.at/cirdis/documentation/bibliographic-database-cultural-history-of-the-western-himalaya-and-adjacent-areas-bibdb.
Forte, Erika. “Western/Central Tibet and Khotan. Various Approaches for The Study of Cultural Interactions Between Western and Central Tibet And the Oasis of Khotan at the End of the First Millennium,” (abstract of the paper) in The Art and Cultural History of Central and Western Tibet, 8th to 15th Century, Vienna, April 5th-9th, 2011, Book of Abstracts, 14–15. https://www.univie.ac.at/chwh/index.php/events/past-events.
Klimburg-Salter, Deborah and Erika Forte. “Symposium Report: The Art and Cultural History of Central and Western Tibet, 8th to 15th Century and Cultural Heritage Preservation, University of Vienna, 6-8 April 2011”, Orientations 42.5 (2011): 88–89.
Forte, Erika. “Il Buddhismo a Longmen. Testimonianze archeologiche, testuali ed epigrafiche da un monastero Tang dimenticato [Buddhism in Longmen. Archaeological, Textual and Epigraphic Evidence from a Forgotten Tang Monastery].” In Alla maniera di... Convegno in ricordo di Maria Teresa Lucidi, edited by Pierfrancesco Fedi, Chiara Silvi Antonini, Paola Mortari Vergara Caffarelli, Alida Alabiso, Daniela Sadun, Francesco Noci and Tullio Aurizi, 429–450. Roma: Casa Editrice Università La Sapienza, 2010.
Forte, Erika. “Khotan in the Last Quarter of the 1st Millennium: Is There Artistic Evidence of the Interrelations Between Khotan and Tibet? A Preliminary Survey.” In Coins, Art and Chronology II. The First Millennium CE in the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, edited by Michael Alram, Deborah Klimburg-Salter, Minoru Inaba, and Matthias Pfisterer, 457–470. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2010.
Forte, Erika. “Ryūmon no Hōsenji. Hakkutsu chōsa ni motozuku garan haichi no shohōteki kōsatsu龍門の奉先寺.発掘調査にもとづく伽藍配置の初歩的考察 [The Fengxiansi in Longmen: A Preliminary Reconstruction of the Architectural Layout from the Archaeological Evidence].” In Papers of the International Symposium 2007: Creating the Framework for a Comparative History of Japanese and Chinese Architecture. Palaces, religious Places, Dwellings, edited by Tetsuo Tamai, 27–50. Chiba: National Museum of National History, 2008.
Forte, Erika. “Splendori architettonici.” Archaeologia Viva Anno XXV/116 (2006): 26–27.
Forte, Erika. “L’architettura [(Chinese) Architecture (of the Tang Period)].” In Tang. Arte e cultura in Cina prima dell’anno Mille [Tang. Art and Culture in China Before 1000 CE], edited by Lucia Caterina, 53–60. Napoli: Electa, 2005.
Forte, Erika. Descriptive Exhibition Catalogue Entries no. 84, 85, 86, 87. In Tang. Arte e cultura in Cina prima dell’anno Mille [Tang. Art and culture in China before 1000], edited by Lucia Caterina, 171–174. Napoli: Electa, 2005.
Forte, Erika. “The Excavations at the Fengxiansi Site in Longmen, China.” In Buddhist Asia 1. Papers from the First Conference of Buddhist Studies Held in Naples in May 2001, edited by Giovanni Verardi and Silvio Vita, 124–144. Kyoto: Italian School of East Asian Studies, 2003.
Forte, Erika. “The Finds from Trial-trench A — Other Finds” (contribution to “Report on the 1997 Excavations at Weiwan (Longmen, China),” edited by Giovani Verardi and Liu Jinglong). Annali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli 58.3/4 (1998): 445–452.
Forte, Erika, 1997, “Review of Gion Shōja. Saheth iseki hakkutsu chōsa hōkokusho (Excavation at Jetavana (Saheth) — a Buddhist Site in Uttar Pradesh — (1986-89)), edited by Kansai Daigaku [Kansai University], Osaka: Nichi-in kyōdo gagujutsu chōsadan 1997.” Annali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli 57.3/4 (1997): 580–584.
Forte, Erika. “I Buddha colossali.” Paramita, Anno XV/60 (1996): 53–56.