yǐngzuò 影作



  • yingzuo (Pinyin without tones)
  • 影作 (Traditional Chinese)3
  • 影作 (Simplified Chinese)
  • yǐngzuò (Pinyin)
  • ying-tso (Wade-Giles)
  • image works (lit.) (English)
  • shadow works (ATTCAT preferred) (English)1
  • puzuo images (English)2


    Seen in the Yingzao fashi (1103 CE), specifically in the text (Chapter 14) and plates (Chapter 34) concerning the polychrome painting works (caihuazuo 彩畫作), yingzuo refers to images of bracket-blocks (sometimes emerging from painted lotus blossoms) with a “neck” and two “feet” (sometimes decorated with floral motifs), painted on the wall surface above the forehead tie beams (eshangbi 額上壁 or gongyanbi 栱眼壁).

    In current art historical and archaeological scholarship, the term has a broader meaning that described in the Yingzao fashi, and is often used to describe painted representations of timber-framed architecture, such as that found in tombs, cave temples, and reliquary chambers.



Related concepts

Note (full)

    The compound "yingzuo" rarely appears in historical literature. The use of "yingzuo" is similar to the terms: "yingshen”(影身; lit. shadow body), "yingtang”(影堂 lit. shadow hall), "yingdeng” (影燈 lit. shadow lamp), and "yingbi”(影壁 lit. shadow wall). The commonality here is that they are all related to painted representations. "Yingshen" indicates portraits, and "yingtang" expresses a place where images of the ancestors were worshiped or a place where the Buddha's image was painted. “Yingdeng is a lantern painted with depictions of people and flowers. The term "yingzuo" appears in Chapter 14 of the Yingzao fashi in the polychrome painting works system (caihuazuo zhidu 彩畫作制度) in the sections on the application of green/blue and cinnabar (vermillion)/white pigments(jielü zhuangshi wushe 解綠裝飾屋舍; danfen shuashi wushe 丹粉刷饰屋舍), and shows how ren (人)-shaped bracket arms could be painted on the beam above the lintel (e shang bi 额上壁) or on the wall between the bracket arms (gongyan bi 拱眼壁) (YZFS 14.8a-11a).


Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 2018. ATTCAT 2018Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 91.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 402.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), juan 14, 34.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 梁. 2001. 梁思成全集 第七卷, 270-271.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 潘. 2005. 《营造法式》解读, 264.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 2011. 《營造法式》彩畫製度研究, 284-285.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 宿. 1957. 白沙宋墓, 90.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: bracketing

How to Cite This Entry

REN Sijie 任思捷 et al., “ 影作 yǐngzuò” in Architectura Sinica last modified September 11, 2020, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000100.


REN Sijie 任思捷 et al., “ 影作 yǐngzuò.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published March 20, 2019. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000100.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 影作 yǐngzuò

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • REN Sijie 任思捷 and YANG Wantian 楊莞闐, entry contributors, “ 影作 yǐngzuò

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Initial research and revision by REN Sijie 任思捷 YANG Wantian 楊莞闐
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2018
  • Data entry, proofreading, and revision by Tracy Miller
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净
  • Adding citations SONG Qisen 松奇森
  • Revising title statement by SUN Zheng 孫正

Copyright and License for Reuse

Except otherwise noted, this page is © 2019.

Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.