cèyàng 側樣



  • ceyang (Pinyin without tones)
  • 側樣 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 侧样 (Simplified Chinese)
  • cèyàng (Pinyin)1
  • ts'e-yang (Wade-Giles)
  • side appearance (lit.) (English)5
  • side view rendering (English)6
  • section (English)2


    In traditional literature, the term ceyang is primarily used in the Yingzao fashi (1103) of the Song dynasty. Literally meaning “side appearance” (Kroll 2015 35, 534), it refers to the transverse view of architectural components, or architectural frameworks from the side perpendicular to the roof ridge, which is then expressed in the form of a drawing (Li 2009, 5.19b, 30.6a-7a, 31.3a-6a).3

    In the Yingzao fashi, the word ce refers to the direction of the depth of the building. The basic meaning of yang is the formal appearance of an object, but it can also mean that form as expressed in drawing. Yang is therefore extended to mean a model. We also see the use of ceyang 側樣 (lit. side appearance; a rendering of the transverse frame--the structural frame perpendicular to the roof ridge) as opposed to zhengyang 正樣 (lit. main/front appearance; a rendering of the structural frame parallel to the roof ridge).

    At present, the term ceyang is often used to denote the cross-section of a traditional Chinese building (Liang 1983, 5). As a result, "cross-section" has also become a common translation for ceyang. However, there are fundamental differences between the ceyang in the Yingzao fashi and the cross-section in modern architectural orthographic drawing, both in terms of the construction of the building and the representation of the building. Based on a careful analysis of the drawings and textual description found in the Yingzao fashi, as well as the Wujing zongyao 武經總要(1047), Xin yixiang fayao 新儀象法要 (1094-1098) and Xuanhe bogu tulu 宣和博古圖錄 (1123), which was composed in the same period and under the same circumstances, we argue that the ceyang is not a type of orthographic projection produced in the abstract as part of a spatial coordinate system, but is instead the side view of a structural frame type as it would have appeared to a craftsman at a particular stage of the construction process (Li 2009 34.4a-b). Hence, it is misleading to translate "ceyang" as "cross-section".4

    “側樣”一詞在古籍中主要出現於《營造法式》(1103),指以圖的形式表達構架或構件側面(橫向的)的模樣(李 2009,5.19b,30.6a-7a,31.3a-6a)。3


    今多以“橫斷面圖”來理解側樣(梁 1983,5)。受此影響,cross-section也成為“側樣”的常用譯名。但《法式》中的“側樣”與以剖切和正投影概念為基礎的“橫斷面圖”所基於的知識生產條件,無論是建築的建造邏輯,還是對房屋構想的表現邏輯都不同。基於對《營造法式》和成書時間與背景均相似的《武經總要》(1047)、《新儀象法要》(1094-1098)和《宣和博古圖錄》(1123)中圖的表現方法與原則的分析,結合11-12世紀北宋知識環境,及對圖和畫的概念辨析,可以認為側樣源於符合中國傳統木構建築建造邏輯的木構榀架的表達,並非橫斷面圖所基於的以虛擬面剖切建築的概念;其表現原則基於11-12世紀宋朝的知識界對圖的“客觀”性的認知,即圖綜合使用匯聚、傾斜與拼貼等方法傳達物的“客觀”之理的能力,而非統一在同一空間坐標系統下的,以固定主體與抽象視點爲基準的投影原則。因而以橫斷面圖(cross-section)來闡釋“側樣”並不恰當。4

Works Cited

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

  • 1 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 299.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 22.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 35, 534.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), 5.19b, 30.6a-7a, 31.3a-6a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 李. 1983. 《营造法式》注释(上), 5.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 5 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 35, 534.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 6 2021. ATTCAT 2021Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: architectural representation

How to Cite This Entry

BAI Ying 白穎 et al., “ 側樣 cèyàng” in Architectura Sinica last modified November 23, 2021, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000180.


BAI Ying 白穎 et al., “ 側樣 cèyàng.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published April 8, 2021. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000180.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 側樣 cèyàng

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • BAI Ying 白穎 and MIAO Tongxi 繆彤茜, entry contributors, “ 側樣 cèyàng

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Preliminary research CMW 2021
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2021
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell Tracy Miller
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 ZUO Lala 左拉拉
  • Data entry and adding notes and citations by MIAO Tongxi 繆彤茜

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