Dr. Jiren Feng

Dr. Jiren Feng teaches Chinese language and culture, including architecture, gardens, folklore, symbolism, and many other thematic courses in Chinese Studies. He also coordinates the Chinese Studies Program that sponsors a Chinese Studies Certificate degree at UH Hilo.


  • History of Chinese art and architecture
  • Chinese archaeology
  • Transmission of technical knowledge
  • Cultural studies of classical literature on architecture (Yingzao fashi, etc.)

Chinese Architecture and Metaphor - book cover


  • Ph. D., History of Art and Architecture, Brown University
  • M.A., History of Art and Architecture, Brown University
  • M.A., Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.E., Architectural History and Theory, Tsinghua University
  • B.E., Architecture, Tsinghua University

Research Highlight

Read the UH Hilo Stories article about Dr. Feng's first book Chinese Architecture and Metaphor: Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Standards.

The Yingzao Fashi is the most important primary source for the study of Chinese architecture, but a rather difficult text due to its complicated technical contents and myriads of classical technical terms. Previous scholarship has reviewed this text largely as a work of technical nature, but Dr. Feng seeks a different approach to it by viewing it as a unique literary work. He gives special attention to its professional terminology and examines the exact semantic meanings of the words used to term specific architectural elements, relating them to specific architectural procedures, contemporary aesthetics, and architectural conceptualization.