Recent Posts

Final Assessment


Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 - 10:44:11 am

@ A150046

Group members: Gek, Raj, Pin, Son Tra

For the final assessment, we have decided to do a visual response to Japanese screens (byobu). The idea was inspired by Yao Lu’s New Landscapes and Team 5’s presentation. 🙂

At first glance, Yao Lu’s New Landscapes looks like any Chinese landscape paintings of mountains. On closer observation however, it is actually depicting Read more →

Categories: Proj 2 - Team 4
Sounds wonderful! But are you taking on too much by responding to two works of art? Or, do you see similarities between the two? If so, what? What is your medium? Byobu? Photography? Who is doing what? Please remember that you need to present next week on your project.
Hi Sujatha, sorry for the late reply! This post was actually to describe our thoughts and those works are just references (they were visual responses to other works). Our actual idea for the project is in Gek's latest post :) Thank you!!

Art History final project (visual response)

Andrew Wong

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 - 12:29:07 pm

@ Ola Señorita

As mentioned by my group members in their posts our group has decided to focus on Chinese ceramics, namely functional ones like plates or bowls.

I remember seeing examples like the one pictured above at the Asian Civilisations Museum when researching for my team presentation and I thought we could generate some interesting visual responses to these ceramics.

A Read more →

Categories: Final project
Interesting idea about using paper plates! Did you paint all those gorgeous paper plates? So, aren't there high end paper plates?

Art History- Final Project Research

Fernandez Leong

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 - 02:22:40 am

@ fleong005

Group members: Andrew, Fern, Chen Yue, Ziyu

During the discussion on Thursday, we agreed to focus on Chinese ceramics. Which Chinese ceramic we wanted to focus on, well, we will need to do further research. We might focus on the white wares.

However what we agreed on is to focus on functionality of Chinese ceramics and the modern interpretation of such items.

For Read more →

Categories: Journal
Aren't there more functions for ceramics? Plates used to place offerings at temples? Diplomacy? Perhaps your team can read a bit more about diverse functions of ceramics?

Art History // Final project_Research

Lim Ziyu

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 - 02:11:18 am

@ ziyuziyuziyu

Group members: Andrew, Fern, Chen Yue, Ziyu

Our group discussed and decided that we want to expand on the Chinese Ceramics for our final project!

We felt that the Chinese Ceramics in the past and now is really different in terms of functionality. They used to have ceramics as decorations at home on shelves, for offerings, and for storing items, and they are Read more →

Interesting idea to highlight an issue through a ceramic plate! Please google Ai Wei Wei and the Willow Tree Pattern. Also, read about the willow tree pattern in America? I believe the article is called Imagining Cathay. If you can't find it, then email me. Let's think more about the prototype once you have done a bit of research about using ceramic plates to bring up an issue or tell a story.

Art History // Buddhism in Japan

Lim Ziyu

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2016 - 05:23:10 am

@ ziyuziyuziyu

Create an imaginary interview of the three Buddhist Japanese royal patrons: Shotuku, Shomu, and Fujiwara no Yoromichi

When we first saw the topic, Iskandar and I immediately said “Let’s do a talk show together!” and the rest were quick to agree as well! I was so glad that the decision was so unanimous. We then went back to research on the Read more →

Categories: Art History II | Journal | Team 4

Art History: Introduction + Claim

Evangeline Ng

Monday, Mar 21, 2016 - 01:39:02 pm

@ Evangeline Ng

The general purpose of Chinese bronze vessels was to communicate with spirits, usually that of their ancestors. Food and wine are placed in these bronze vessels as offerings, and communication was usually through inscriptions on the bronzes for the ancestors as well as to future generations. The bronze vessels are decorated with intricate designs called “tao tie” 饕餮, often recognized Read more →

Categories: Essay | Journal

Introduction + Point


Saturday, Mar 19, 2016 - 11:57:07 am

@ A150046

Chinese landscape paintings appeared as early as 4th century BCE, when people started to be more mindful about nature.[1] However, they were very much in the background and only became more prominent in Chinese culture around the end of the Tang dynasty. It was from then and to the Northern Song period (960–1127) that we now perceive as Read more →

Categories: Journal
Your first paragraph is nice as an introduction. Please merge it with the second and third paragraph. For such a short essay, the introduction should be one paragraph. Please edit out unnecessary sections (you introduce the paintings twice). Please show me another version of your introduction with thesis statement and plan tomorrow morning. Where is your thesis statement? Is it this? "Despite the generalization and similarities of Chinese landscape paintings, each painting can hugely vary from another in terms of its meaning." Can you combine the following two sentences? "On first glance, we can see that both works have nature-themed motifs, a general characteristic of Chinese landscape painting." "Interestingly, different nature motifs have very different meanings." For example: Both artworks depict nature, but certain motifs reveal different meanings. This is an interesting idea: "Hence, we can see that Early Spring is more about balance while Five-Coloured Parakeet leans towards prosperous signs." Could this be the thesis statement or the "So, what?" balance with what? This seems to be a different idea--"Besides the subject matter of the paintings, the meaning behind each work is also emphasized through how they were painted." In other words, your paper has two ideas. You need to decide which one you want to go with. Footnote 1 too old. Footnote 2, 4, 9, 13 seem like popular sources.
Hi Sujatha, thank you for replying! I meant my thesis statement to be "Despite the generalization and similarities of Chinese landscape paintings, each painting can hugely vary from another in terms of its meaning." and there to be 2 points based on it -- subject matter and how they were painted. Is that too broad?
The idea is that both paintings have similarities, but are different. Hence there is the pre-paragraph "Both Early Spring by Guo Xi and Five-Coloured Parakeet by Emperor Hui-tsung are some of the most prominent work of the Northern Song dynasty. On first glance, we can see that both works have nature-themed motifs, a general characteristic of Chinese landscape painting. Both paintings were done by ink on silk, which was the most common medium at that time." that is meant to show the similarities they have in common, while the following paragraphs describe the differences. I understand if it is redundant, I'm explaining my thought process here.
Currently the thesis is in the form of similarities and differences--good! But, it is too broad... Can you say something more specific about the similarities and differences in meaning?
Your new thesis has passive verbs: "are" and "is." It is also still quite broad. "Although both Early Spring and Five-Coloured Parakeet are classified as Chinese landscape paintings, each painting is different from each other in terms of its meanings." How about this then? Although both paintings depict nature, they embody different meanings: Guo Xi's represent blah blah and Hui-Tsung's show blah blah. Then, your first paragraph will be about similarities and the second paragraph will be about differences. Currently they are all together...
Okay I think I get it. Thank you for looking at my work! I will work on that.

Revised Essay


Friday, Mar 18, 2016 - 02:51:57 am

@ 風鳴る翼

Having an afterlife, especially a comfortable one is an important belief throughout ancient Chinese history. Families did not want their deceased loved ones to suffer in the yellow springs; a fictional location of immeasurable graves and where spirits congregated.[1] They brought along objects with them to their deathbed so that they are able to continue having them in Read more →

Categories: Journal
You have asked an excellent question that I sadly don't have a good answer to give. Visual Analysis is powerful in the present tense. So, write in the present tense. You don't need footnote 3. Can the second paragraph be edited a bit more and merged with the first? Thesis statement: "Although they both are represented in life size, each with great attention to postures and facial features, the differences in size and clothing illustrate the different ranks of the warriors in the army." You have the forbidden "are" in it! So, how about this: Although they represent life size figures, each with great attention to o postures and facial features, the differences in size and clothing illustrate the different ranks of the warriors in the army." Now, can you add another sentence and tell us why your discovery is important. This is the "So, what?" That is why is your argument significant?

Edited: Essay

Iskandar Ruhaizat

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 - 04:10:30 pm

@ Sang Musang

Chinese Buddhist art is a complex collection of icons of deities. Being adherents of Mahayana Buddhism, the Chinese often depict bodhisattvas and the different buddhas[1], championing salvation for everyone through the numerous deities[2]. Chinese Buddhism was adopted during the end of the Han dynasty 220BCE-220CE[3], as it entered from India into China via overland and maritime trade routes[4]. This essay Read more →

Categories: Journal
Do you need a footnote for “images of divinities and objects”. Need dates for Han Dynasty. Do you need this? "it influenced the Chinese culture-scape that already embodies existing Confucian, Taoist, and folk religion values." What does it have to do with your point? Why not say something about how initial Buddhism was practice in ethnic enclaves and how later it was embraced by rulers? Thorpe & Vinograd discuss this in their book (Look at ADM reserves). need dates of the Northern Wei rulers. please introduce the two images first before you begin your thesis. give us one sentence about each one. Then, state your thesis and plan. "this essay explores the changes in patronage in terms of the status of the patrons, subject matter, and their relationship with worshippers" currently this is not a claim. it is a plan. What is your main point about patronage? Perhaps if you post your paragraphs, I could find some point hidden in them? I usually do.
Hi Sujatha, Thank you for the comment. Edited the intro and added a first paragraph.
The introduction looks good, but it could benefit a lot from some concrete details. Do you need the following two sentences: "Buddhist images rarely appear during the formative stages of Chinese Buddhism; often fused with indigenous culture in tomb art[2]. By the late-5th century, Chinese Buddhist art has reached a level of standardisation before breaking away from linear forms that dominated earlier works to classical realism in mid-6th century[3]." They don't tell us much. When did Buddhism come to China? What is Mahayana Buddhism? Introduce the objects before you compare them. I.e. before you state that you are going to compare introduce the objects. Is the image at Longmen the largest sculpture in China? This is a good thesis, because it addresses both similarities and differences. But it needs a "So, what?" What is the significance of this comparison? The thesis is a bit broad too. "Although both sculptures share characteristics often found in Buddhist art, the intent behind their creation differs in terms of subject matter, their commissioner, and the time period at which they were made." With this thesis, I would expect a separate body paragraph on similarities and then a separate body paragraph on differences. Currently, your body paragraph is all mixed up... You don't have to address everything for this essay. Only address what is relevant to your current argument. So, you seem to have an idea about the subject matter, size, and composition. According to your paragraphs, initially we see the Buddha and then we see the Vairocana with a complex group of divinities. Can you make your claim based on this? Although both sculptures depict Buddhas, the differences in the type of the Buddha, the size, and the composition indicate blah blah (i.e. your idea).

Research paper


Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 - 02:16:50 pm


Chinese Buddhist Art started out as similar representations of prototypes from India, and transformed over time due to the influences of Chinese culture and values.[1] Many new celestial Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were included in Chinese Buddhist Art, extending its focus to others besides Buddha Shakyamuni.[2] From the time period of the Northern Han Dynasty to the Read more →

Categories: Journal
Hooray! Prof. Randall found your blog and now I can give you some feedback! Your introduction is good but it needs more information. Introduction is 20 marks. It needs dates, and other facts. Is this your thesis statement and plan? It is very ambitious! You only need to compare two objects. This is a comparison. So, your thesis statement needs to be framed as a comparison. You need to compare similarities and differences between Yungang and Longmen. Your idea needs to be specific. Not general or broad. "From the time period of the Northern Han Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty, and through the comparison of the Colossal Buddha in Cave 20 of Yungang of the Northern Wei Dynasty and the Buddha Vairocana in the Longmen Caves of the Tang Dynasty, we would be able to address the changes in art and religion when Buddhism arrives in China." You need to have two paragraphs. One could be on similarities and the other could be on differences. How are they similar and different? Size? composition? Patronage? What could these similarities and differences tell us? That is your idea. Please post another version before 4:00 p.m. today. Footnotes 2, 6, 10 do not seem scholarly. Need complete information for footnote 7.