Lu Pan

Lu Pan
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Room 622, Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong,
Pokfulam Road, , Hong Kong
Miasma, Plants and Export Paintings
Space and Nature of Canton/Hong Kong in the Colonial History
Lu Pan
Assistant Professor,
Department of Chinese Culture,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Xiaoxuan Lu
Assistant Professor
Division of Landscape Architecture, The University of Hong Kong


The devastating tropical climate created strong fear and anxiety in the British troops who stationed at Hong Kong after the opium wars. The 19th Century myth of Miasma, the bad air, related epidemic diseases with air, environment and race, which later helped to consolidate the vertical segregation on Hong Kong island. Acclimatization efforts were made in pace with expansion of the British Botanic Empire, a global network of scentific researches of plants, which circulated not only botanic specimens but also images created for the purpose of study. In the particular case of Canton in South China, local commercial artists were commissioned to make plant paintings. This work examines the peculiar dynamics between imperialism, scientific research, race and the right to look in 19th Century Canton.

About the Speaker

Lu PAN is assistant professor at Dept. of Chinese Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She held visiting positions at Technical University of Berlin (2008 and 2009), Harvard-Yenching Institute (2011-2012), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2016), Center for Art and Urbanistics (Z/KU), Berlin (2016) and Taipei National University of the Arts (2018). Pan is author of In-Visible Palimpsest: Memory, Space and Modernity in Berlin and Shanghai (Bern: Peter Lang, 2016) and Aestheticizing Public Space: Street Visual Politics in East Asian Cities (Bristol: Intellect, 2015). Her film Traces of Invisible City (co-directed with Bo Wang) was shown at DMZ Documentary Film Festival, South Korea and Guggenheim Museum, New York.

The DLA Research Seminar Series provides a platform to discuss scholarly research on the built environment that is interdisciplinary in nature. The series aims to identify common research threads from landscape architecture, architecture, planning, urban design, and conservation, and by doing so instigates critical reflections on the different approaches to the study of landscapes and cities. For the list of seminar topics, see


All are welcome. For enquiries, call: 3917 7699