Category: Chinese & the Far East


The Ca Mau Shipwreck

The Ca Mau Shipwreck The Ca Mau shipwreck refers to a Chinese cargo sunken sometime between 1723 and 1735 off the coast of Vietnam’s farthest point in the South China Sea, discovered by Vietnamese fishermen in 1998. It is believed the wreck was a Chinese merchant’s junk on its way from Canton (Guangzhou) to Batavia  … Read more

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Gandharan Art: A Fusion of Hellenistic and Buddhist Styles

Ancient Gandhara Gandharan art, also known as Greco-Buddhist art, is a multi-ethnic style of Buddhist art that developed in the Gandhara region in the north of the Indian subcontinent, in what is now present day north-western Pakistan and north-eastern Afghanistan. When Alexander the Great conquered the area in 327 BC he brought with him the  … Read more

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The Art of Neolithic China

Neolithic Era in China The Neolithic era in China began at around 10,000 BC, lasting up until around 2000 BC. Perhaps the earliest artistic production of the period was in the form of pottery, usually utilitarian in nature. Chinese Neolithic pottery was made entirely by hand, moulded without the assistance of a potter’s wheel, by  … Read more

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Popular Styles in Chinese Ceramics

The historic span of Chinese ceramic production, from the Palaeolithic period up until the present day, has unsurprisingly allowed for a great deal of innovation and variation of style. From amongst the considerable regional and chronological diversity in Chinese ceramics, a few styles stand out as particularly memorable or enduring in their popularity – both  … Read more

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Han Dynasty Culture

The Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) was one of the most significant and prosperous periods of cultural change and discovery in the annals of Chinese history. The period saw, in particular, the birth of the Silk Road, the invention of paper, and a revitalised, and more formalised, vigour for Confucian teachings. The Birth  … Read more

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Animal Symbolism in Chinese Art

The association between various animals and their related qualities and connotations, have long played a major role in Chinese culture, impacting everything from art and language, to folk stories and the affectionate nicknames given to children by their parents (known as xiǎo míng). While animal motifs appear frequently in the art of many cultures, animal  … Read more

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Tek Sing Shipwreck

Tek Sing, translating as True Star, was a large Chinese sailing ship, which sank in February 1822. The ship measured 60 metres in length and over 10 metres in width. The cargo was loaded with porcelain, silks, spices and medicines. The ship left the port of Amoy, a central port for Chinese trading prowess, and  … Read more

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The Hoi An Shipwreck

The Hoi An Shipwreck The Hoi An shipwreck sank in the middle of a typhoon zone known as the Dragon Sea, between the late 15th century and early 16th century. It has been named after the nearby town of Faifo, known in modern geography as Hoi An. The shipwreck was found in the early 1990s  … Read more

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The Horse in Ancient Chinese Culture

Horses in Ancient China Horses were amongst the most important animals in Ancient Chinese Culture and mythology. Horses have been present from the very beginning of Chinese culture, both on a mythical and symbolic level and they represent speed, perseverance, imagination and symbolize pure male strength – Yang. Horses in Tang Dynasty Culture Originally the  … Read more

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Chinese Tang Dynasty: Terracotta Tomb Attendants

A Cultural Golden Age The Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) is considered a golden age in Chinese history, witnessing the prosperity of culture, economy, diplomacy and politics under a unified government. As is so often the case, where there is political and economic stability, art flourishes, and with the Tang Empire’s expansion into Central Asia, Tang  … Read more

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10 Things You Need to Know About Kangxi Blue and White Ceramics

1. Imperial Support The Kangxi period (1662-1722) was one of the most productive period of Chinese ceramics. The Kangxi Emperor was the second emperor of China during the newly-established Manchu Qing dynasty and was considered one of China's greatest emperors. He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and was fascinated by Western science, art and  … Read more

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