Robert van Gulik
Robert Hans van Gulik (1910 - 1967) 高罗佩 (Gāo Luōpèi) was a Dutch sinologist, orientalist, diplomat, translator, and novelist. He was born in Zutphen. As a son of a medical officer in the Dutch army, he was tutored in Mandarin and other languages from three years old. He studied in Leiden University and obtained his PhD in 1935 from Utrecht University. Robert van Gulik is fluent in 15 languages and was stationed in various countries, mostly in East Asia (China and Japan). His Chinese name is 高罗佩 (Gāo Lúopèi). He made great contributions in bridging Chinese cultures and western cultures. Click on the photo of the poster below to see the details of the online celebration.
Royal Association of Friends of Asian Art (KVVAK) organised a 2-day online event on April 9-10, 2021. I have joined most of the programs, I think the event is a very successful one, more than 20 experts around the world: professors and young academics, including Van Gulik families and some influential people, presented their research results and their fond memories of Van Gulik.
The first day was a professional symposium, research results around Mr. Gao were presented by different universities, there were about 180 participants. On the second day, Van Gulik families shared their lively stories, several experts presented the guided tours of the museums and documentary video tours with personal memories. There were many artifacts and historical photos on display and the number of the participants reached 230.
Mr. Gao is famous for his detective fiction Judge Dee. Many people know him as a writer, but he was much more than a normal writer. He was a very versatile man, not only a diplomat but also a practitioner, a collector, a lover of classical Chinese musical instruments, a prolific draftsman, a storyteller and a tender father who had lived a passionate life. Mr. Gao has already inspired many people and will continue to inspire many generations to come.
Mr. Gao witnessed the change of China from the war period to the founding of New China and then to the period of full domestic development. He passed on the changes in China to the Western world in time, giving the West a better understanding of China. Even today, his life and contributions are still the research topics of university scientists around the world. During the two-day event, participants named the research phenomena about Mr. Van Gulik "Gao Study", 高 学 (Gāo Xué).
Mr. Gao has accomplished a lot in his 57-year life. He never stopped working and he is a model of lifelong learning. Thanks KVVAK for organizing this great event.