Wk3 journal

In week3, we learned about Catherine of Austria and her Kunstkammer. Who is an another female patron of the arts? As you reflect on this question, remember to link any images or textual sources to your journal posting that might relate to this question or your thoughts on it.


Longmen Caves site with colossal Buddha


In the ancient China, there was a very powerful women, one and only, in the Chinese history, who became the only empress, She is know as Wu Ze Tian

And She is also the biggest patron for buddhist art at that time.

The importance to history of Wu Zetian’s period of political and military leadership includes the major expansion of the Chinese empire, extending it far beyond its previous territorial limits, deep into Central Asia, and engaging in a series of wars on the Korean peninsula, first allying with Silla against Goguryeo, and then against Silla over occupation of formerly Goguryeo territory. Within China, besides the more direct consequences of her struggle to gain and maintain supreme power, Wu’s leadership resulted in important effects regarding social class in Chinese society and in relation to state support for Taoism, Buddhism, education, and literature. Wu Zetian also had a monumental impact upon the statuary of the Longmen Grottoes and the “Wordless Stele” at the Qianling Mausoleum, as well as the construction of some major buildings and bronze castings that no longer survive.  (wikipedia)

In promoting Buddhism over Confucianism and Daoism as the favored state religion, the Empress countered strongly held Confucian beliefs against female rule. To justify her rule, Wu used selected Buddhist scriptures and led the way in the creation of numerous visual representations of the Buddha. The most spectacular are the stone temples and statues chiseled into grottoes at Longmen, near her capital. In the largest cave there is a statue called the Grand Vairocana Buddha. Carved in limestone, the colossal statue is reputed to have been carved in Wu’s own likeness. Whether true or not, it is what people believed.


Wk2 journal

Ques: How have your images of Africa changed after today’s class on African ivories? Please link images and texts related to your reflections.

My first impression about africa or black people is from the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly”.  It talks about the miserable life that black people are sold as slaves, they have no human rights, they got killed without reason. I was about 12 years old when I read that book, and I was shocked and confused, how can people treat other human beings like that, like they dont have mind or soul.  

This course” Art in the age of Colonialism” is actually a heavy course. All these arts were covered with bloods and tears. Still, these arts are beautiful and valuable. These artistic productions are the result of the great period of discovery from the latter half of the fifteenth through the sixteenth centuries, which is also generally referred to as the Age of Exploration.

Looking back at the history, we can now appreciate the collision between western and african art and tradition, the beauty of western aesthetics being apply on african ivories, the power and luxury lifestyle of the rulers and merchants. However, I cant help but to think, will Africa and its people have a different life if they were never exploited like that?

For sure, their world was opened and they got to get in touch of new knowledge and technology. However, some of their culture was abruptly stopped and obliterated. Maybe, it will takes them thousands years more to develope to current civilisation, but they would have a more solid and colorful civilisation than nowadays.  I guess.

All in all, i just feel that we are too used to use the western standard of civilisation to measure the rest of the world. Have anyone ever thought that people in the rest of the world actually have a happier life before the westerners intruded into their life and brought “civilisation” to them?

Sam1888Edition    LOL