Art History- Final Project Research

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 example, Chinese ceramics were used by royalty or the commoners, depending on the clay used and the final product. White wares were more commonly purchased by the rich while the more common wares were used by commoners.

Several functions of current plates include

  • decorative or aesthetic purpose
  • usage during consumption of food
  • as symbols of status

The implementation of final prototype:

– We intend to create a ceramic plate or to find a model of it in different materials to explain its current modern usage.

-Paint it in resemblance of a Chinese ceramic.



Introductory Paragraph- Chinese Tomb Art

There has been a change in my thesis statement but I think I’ll put down the paragraph first and see if it’s easy to pick out.



The Ancient China concept of death indicated that the body had two spiritual elements, the hun spirit representing the expressive soul headed for paradise and the po spirit that remained after death[1]. To appease the po spirit, the dead were buried with art such as sculptures or bronzes and everyday objects, essentially “recreating life in all its essentials.“[2] The higher rank the deceased had, the more goods were placed in their tombs, one of the most famous being China’s First Emperor Qin Shihuang tomb and his terracotta warriors. Founded in 1974 by farmers , the terracotta army remained one of China’s links to its extensive history, one being the study of military hierarchy in the ranks; Despite the facial individualities of the soldiers[3] the overarching shape of the terracotta figures, as shown by its posture, weapons, and dressing, encapsulates the rank of the figure.

[1] Wood, China’s First Emperor and His Terra Cotta Warriors, 127.

[2] Man, The Terracotta Army: China’s First Emperor and The Birth of a Nation, 100.

[3] Fu, The Underground Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, 12.



Wood, Frances. China’s First Emperor and His Terra Cotta Warriors. New York: St.Martin’s Press, 2008.

Man, John. The Terracotta Army: China’s First Emperor and The Birth of a Nation. Great Britain: Bantam Press, 2007.

Fu, Tianchou. The Underground Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. China: New World Press, 1996

Question 1 essay proposal

Hi there,

Below is the essay proposal format I have for art history. It is still very rough but has a layout of what I am intending to focus on for each paragraph.


Proposal format for question 1: 

What is Chinese tomb art? Compare two bronzes from the Shang dynasty. OR compare two terracotta figures from the Qin dynasty.



  • What is Chinese tomb art?
  • Why are there Chinese tomb art?
  • Examples of Chinese tomb art

Tentative claim:

  • The terracotta warriors in Qin Shihuangdi’s grave are part of a majestic range of Chinese tomb art for the emperor.


Plan for essay:

  • Compare between two terracotta warriors.
  • Analysis of similarities and differences between both art pieces.
  • Analysis of significance of tomb art in context.


Possible paragraphs envisioned (Numbers below represent paragraphs)

  1. Introduction to Chinese tomb art. This includes their use, appearance, and context of history and religion in which it was used.
  2. Introduction of both terracotta pieces for comparism. Compare on similarity and differences.
  3. Analysis on context for both terracotta pieces.
  4. Attempt to answer and support the tentative claim that terracotta warriors are part of a majestic form of Chinese tomb art.
  5. Conclusion to highlight tentative claim once more.