[Art History II] Research Paper : Proposal

Question 3.
What are Chinese ceramics? Compare two ceramics found on a shipwreck.

Main Source

Krahl, Regina. Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds. Edited by John Guy, J. Keith Wilson and Julian Raby. Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Singapore: National Heritage Board; Singapore: Singapore Tourism Board, 2011.



  • Discovery of Belitung shipwreck (Tang shipwreck) : the retrieval of Chinese ceramics
  • This leads to the maritime route of China’s Silk Road during the ninth century
  • Networks connecting China to ports all over Asia : continuous exchange of goods & ideas
  • The development of pottery’s manufacturing techniques is seen through the different ceramics
  • The change of preferences through the years : the evolution of ceramics
  • Claim: The evolution of ceramics was due to the influence of foreign trade on their domestic production.
  • A comparison between two types of ceramics :
    1) Changsha ware
    2) White ware with green decor



  • I will be doing a visual and contextual analysis on the two ceramics to identify the main factors influencing the changes

– Forms & uses (made for export? daily utility wares? for nobility/officials?)
– Colours
– Paints/glazes used

  • Differences
    – Decorations (any rare shapes/designs? symbols?)
    – The amount of each type of ware recovered (is it mass-manufactured?)
  • It was in the making of functional ceramics for daily use and export that Tang potters achieved their greatest technical innovations and artistic refinements



  • Shipwrecks revealed the immense capacity and technical sophistication of Chinese kilns
  • Provided evidence of shifting tastes through the years
  • The development of stoneware pottery revolutionised the production of everyday ceramics and created a dynamic new artistic tradition
  • The spread of innovation and demands of foreign markets

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Believes in creating works that someone can not only see or touch but be part of, to be within them.

One thought on “[Art History II] Research Paper : Proposal”

  1. This looks excellent!

    You have chosen a good textual source! What are your other two sources?
    Perhaps your introduction could be broader? Begin with the general idea of what shipwreck can reveal? How many have been found with Chinese ceramics? Why are you choosing the Belitung shipwreck?

    You also have a good claim but it needs a little more work–it is a bit broad at the moment. It also needs an active verb (not “is” or “are”). Return to it after you do your comparison and see if you can find a claim that is specific to your comparison.

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