Monthly Archives: September 2018

DD3006_07_Visiting the Asian Civilizations Museum

It was a really informative tour and interesting story of porcelain and how it tells about the trade and international relations in the past.

My favourite section comes to the section “The Craze for Things Chinese in Europe”. I don’t know why but I found this part exceptionally more amusing as all this time I always thought that China is the one copying Europe, not the other way round, but here it does! So ya…. It feels unusual and thus my favourite object was from this section.

The object I chose is this one:

Details taken form

Charger with arms of the city of Mechelen. China, around 1722. Porcelain. 2015-00393
Shown on the plate is the crest of the city of Mechelen (today in Belgium). The old spelling “Meggelen” is used here.

Even though the story of the wrong family crest being produced due to error while transporting was really interesting, somehow this piece catches my eyes and I ended up liking it.

Here’s a clearer and better resolution photo from the ACM website:

The colour was pretty and it shows the mix of west and east elements. The pictures on the brim also make me feel like there is story to be told, may be. But overall, I really like it as it gives sense of royalty yet welcoming. Imagine eating on this plate, and finishing the dish and have the feeling of “welcome to the city of Belgium!”. Isn’t it inviting to try? 🙂

DD3006_06_Mapping Singapore

This week is my group’s turn to present and we are presenting on Mapping Singapore. As I researched more on the contemporary artist, I would like to write more on an artwork that even from researching it has made me think think and see things differently : SEA STATE by Charles Lim Yi Yong (2004-present)


At first, I really could not understand why one would do such a long term project and I tried to read more and more review (but most of them online would say the same thing and point with some rephrasing). I couldn’t find it until I decided to watch the film he produced (posted on the link mentioned above), and…..voila!

Watching it with the cinematography, sound etc was totally different than reading about it. It gives out the feeling, the tone and intention and most importantly it gave me the chill of message the artist trying to say.

My view was changed from merely artwork representing the different stages of the sea, into a basically warning alarm! It summarised the dangerous part of humanity that want to take over and control of the nature, colonialism of the nature in a way.

The stages show how the process started from something common and unusual but slowly but surely, has taken root and taking more and more over time and eventually claiming the nature for human to own.




Even though in this case is specifically talking about and leading towards land reclamation, I feel this context and pattern is applicable to other things between human and nature in general. Something that seems so ordinary is actually leading towards something dangerous for the nature, which actually include the survival of mankind.

Maybe.. soon (real soon) should be the time to map our own boundary as a human…

DD3006_04_Ivory in the Philippines

It was a great presentation with interesting new facts. One thing that strikes me me was that those sculpture reminds me of those in my relatives house. It seems so familiar yet I never knew those white face were ivory. I didn’t know that processed ivory can be such beauty and yes, it must have been really really expensive.

It was really sophisticated and wew. One aspect that I like is that the clothes and the style itself. It manages to catches attention at once (and might give the scary aura to certain extent, it feels somehow chilly though it has Christianity element).

One thing that I don’t like is that they have to destroy the illegal tusk instead of just keeping it and processing it :(. However it was true if that’s the case there might be stealing and illegal market more.

Another thing that I like from the presentation was that the group prepared the extra hidden slides that are very informative and helped out in answering many questions. 🙂

DD3006_05_Miniature Painting in Contemporary South Asian Art

Miniature paintings were not something I really heard of before (I recall we learnt a brief of it in Year 1 but I was not really paying attention at that time). Now, when I think I might have become someone who is able to see, feel and respect artworks more, I can’t helped but feel amazed. It was so small yete so intricate.

Comparing the past and the current context is really smart as, if you don’t know you don’t know. As all is relatively small, if seen at a glance the traditional and contemporary doesn’t really show a difference. The main difference is on the details which carry the different message and meaning.

A catchy thing for me is the fact that there is a special course with Diploma in Miniature Painting in Pakistan. Even though there was decline in interest, it is undeniably a way to preserve the culture and tradition.

Moreover, as said that the contemporary miniature paintings express the artist’s independent belief that grow independency from the patron’s and market’s belief, it makes me feel like that contemporary miniature painting is no longer replica of the past but it is one of the way how our generation shape our own world history.

DD3006_03_Explorers: Age of Encounter

Video on Vasco Da Gama:

Video on Magellan:

It was a really interesting to learn more on the beginning of era before colonialism and how the European found he major route to go to the other part of the world. Something I just found out is the presence of Spice Island which refer to the Moluccan. I had no idea that island of Indonesia had been famous since then. I thought that the main Spice Island would be in Java, especially Batavia where later VOC will come and make it a main trading point.

I watched some more of the video and realise that, as said, most of the narratives were based on the point of view of the European and how their knowledge and technology has helped to ‘discover’ and ‘conquer’ the world.

It just made me wonder what has made the European developed faster than other part of the world? Or what if actually all developed at similar rate, but the European were able to record and keep track more properly (and colonise), as well as still teaching it in education system therefore in our world history European became remembered as the main super power when relates to the age of encounter. (exception to few such as Zheng He — even though may be he had been acknowledged because of the fleet size). Has our early international history mostly been shaped by the narrative of the Western world? I think so…