Dunhuang Feast in Spring


On March 28, the CRC held a round table meeting on Dunhuang. Dr. Malcolm Pritchard, Dr. Bill Mak, Prof. C. F. Lee, Prof. Imre Galambos, Dr. Irene Lok, Dr. Linda Au, Dr. Zhang Yulong, Ms. Sage Huang and Mr. Trevor Wong participated. It was a rare occasion for scholars and educators to gather to share and discuss their knowledge and experience about Dunhuang.

On the afternoon of the same day, the Center hosted the first lecture of the “2023 Qilin Lecture Series on Chinese Culture” titled “Students in Dunhuang during the Ninth and Tenth Centuries”, held in the Exhibition Foyer. Prof. Imre Galambos, Professor of Sinology at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, delivered a one- hour lecture on the Students in Dunhuang during the period of the Guiyi Army (851-1036 CE) in China.

Prof. Galambos has studied Dunhuang manuscripts for decades. He speaks to the audience, in his fluent Putonghua, calm humour, plain and lively manner, introducing to them the distant and mysterious Dunhuang scriptures that were unearthed from The Library Cave, and the literature about the students in Dunhuang during the Guiyi Army period. Through these rare ancient documents handed down from generation to generation, and long-term research by scholars, we can learn about the living conditions of the young people in the medieval China not recorded in general documents. We can also have a chance to see precious images such as children’s portraits, enlightenment books, diaries, copied poems, and children’s paintings at the back of papers.

Prof. Galambos’s lecture on students in Dunhuang during the 9th to 10th centuries enables those of us who live in Hong Kong in the 21st century to know that despite the great difference between Dunhuang in the northwest and Hong Kong in the south, students from the medieval and modern times, share similar love of learning and aspiration. The lecture ended with the audience’s enthusiastic questions, Prof. Galambos’s lively responses, the Director’s words of appreciation, and followed by a round of warm applause. It was a refreshing and unforgettable lecture, just like being in a warm and soft breeze in spring.

About Professor Imre Galambos :

Professor Imre Galambos is a specialist of medieval Chinese manuscripts, focusing on material excavated at sites along the Silk Road. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he wrote a dissertation on the structure of Chinese characters during the Warring States period. Upon graduation, he worked for ten years for the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library, where his research interests turned to the medieval period. In 2012, he took on a teaching post at the University of Cambridge, where he is now Professor of Chinese.

Reading list:

  • Galambos, Imre. 2020. Dunhuang Manuscript Culture: End of the First Millennium. Berlin: De Gruyter. Chapter 2, pp. 85–138.
  • Rong Xinjiang. 2013. Eighteen Lectures on Dunhuang. Leiden/Boston: Brill. Chapter 4 (“The Nature of the Dunhuang Library Cave and the Reasons for Its Sealing”), pp. 109–136.
  • Zürcher, Erik. 1989. “Buddhism and education in T’ang times.” In William Theodore de Bary, ed., Neo-Confucian Education: The Formative Stage. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, pp. 19–56.


Please click here for more information on his research and click here for his YouTube videos.