The Newsletter 96 Autumn 2023

Living and Reflecting in Leiden


Uncertainty has become the norm in life. After experiencing multiple lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I arrived at IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies) as planned, where I felt warmth and hospitality after engaging in discussions with Director Philippe Peycam and Fellowship Coordinator Laura Erber. Throughout the years, I have been immersed in busyness, whether it was during my time in Boston or my visiting scholar period in Madison. My primary objective has always been to enhance the efficiency of resource allocation. However, in the field of technology, the deployment of big data and artificial intelligence has surpassed the effectiveness of human experience.

At IIAS, I participated in various inspirational sessions, gaining a deeper understanding of broader, more complex, interdisciplinary, and cross-domain innovations. I also learned how cultural traditions shape and recreate themselves, and how the local social and cultural landscape is formed. As someone originating from the ethnic regions of southwestern China, I pondered on self-identity and future pursuits. While my current research combines geographical information systems in natural sciences with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for simulating cultural heritage tourism, my academic background remains rooted in anthropological fieldwork.

Discussions at IIAS have provided me with a greater comprehension of the primacy of life and the pursuit of a better existence. They have also emphasized the importance of effectively managing the relationship between development and stability, as well as the necessity of risk prevention and resolution. Each individual contributes the strengths and capabilities, viewing development from an existential perspective and to fulfill the potential of life.

Attending an “Inspirational Session” with other IIAS Fellows.