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Tradition of Collecting Chinese Ceramic: Its Reborn Period Smashing World Auction Record in Today’s China – Hong Kong Art Market

Tradition of Collecting Chinese Ceramic: Its Reborn Period Smashing World Auction Record in Today’s China – Hong Kong Art Market

The blast of Chinese art market in 2000s will be recalled as one of the most influential milestone periods in the Chinese art history. Chinese art dates back to around 10,000 B.C during Neolithic periods, and it boomed rapidly in the later periods that was full of turbulences in scramble of power and influence. During Sui (581 – 618 AD) and Tang dynasties (618-907 AD), China began successfully to unify and create a prosperity period and a prolific art and literature market. During this period, art reflected many different cultural backgrounds around China with some influences from abroad, particularly Southeast Asia and Middle East or Arabia peninsula. The Chinese arts were exported and exchanged, and they included Buddhist sculptures, paintings, calligraphies, metalworks and ceramics. Chinese ceramics were exclusively appreciated, and tradition of collecting was considered as a Solomonic vigor. After the collapse of Tang dynasty, the Song dynasty (960–1279 AD) emerged and ruled the dynastic state in China. The Song dynasty was marked as an era establishing Chinese culture. The Song court proceeded the earlier art market that focused on ceramics and textiles for trade and exchange. Many scholars and poets rapidly bloomed, and they wrote and compared the virtues […]

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Aesthetic Art to Sacred Design: A Famille Verte Dish with “Taoist Three Star Gods”, Kangxi Reign of Qing Dynasty

Aesthetic Art to Sacred Design: A Famille Verte Dish with “Taoist Three Star Gods”, Kangxi Reign of Qing Dynasty

Description of rounded sides, thick and sturdy body and a broad flat upturned rim with a bracket-lobed edge standing on a double thick-tapering foot ring, vividly colored and naturalistically rendered in great detail painted in green, red, and blue, black, yellow and brown enamels predominated by green pigment on transparent glaze showing a grayish-green hue decorated with Daoism Sanxing (三星 “Three Stars“) representing Shou Lao (God of Longevity) holding a peach, Lu (God of Rank) and Fuxing (God of Happiness) accompanied by a lady on behind and five small boys at traditional music play, all surrounded by leafy pine tree, fungus, bats, cranes and other immortal plants on double two circled lines with eight bracket panels framing a pair of conch and lotus flowers of Eight Buddhist Emblems around the cavetto and a series of Ru yi-shaped cloud collars appearing around the lip, with four shoufu motifs around the outer side and vertically underglaze blue six characters of Kangxi mark within double circle lines on the base. Research & Essay In 1602, Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, abbreviated to VOC, was established by Dutch Republic (present-day Netherlands) in Batavia (present-day Jakarta). VOC, or The Dutch East India Company in English, was a trade corporation […]

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An Archaeological Divine Animal of Chinese Buddhist: A Qingbai-glazed One-Horned ‘Pixiu’ Censer and Cover of Yuan Period

Description Modelled after an earlier archaic metalwork prototype in the form of a one-horned mythical beast ‘Pixiu’ standing with four feet, portrayed with ferocious expression, the mane framing its horse face, round opened eyes, bump eyebrow, dragon nose and the mouth open in a roar revealing its canine teeth and outstretched tongue, its body relieved with flora-like wings and attached with a ring in the neck, surmounted by a hollowed zun vessel with a flared mouthrim accompanied by its removable cover surmounted with a qilin loop handle turning its head to the right side spelling out a flame in front of pearl, all over covered with thin crackly bluish-white tint glaze on a white ceramic body stopping the above foot revealing sandy flecks in brownish color in the kiln. Research & Essay One of the most successful ports in the early centuries for international trading communities in Asia was Batang Hari river in Sumatra. The illustrious port of Batang Hari was witnessed not only by Chinese scholars, Arabs writers and European adventures, but also by a variety of other valuable sources. Established around the Sumatra Sea in the vicinity of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo and Celebes islands, Srivijaya Kingdom had been the most powerful maritime […]

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The Heritage of Mongol: The Iconography of Chinese Buddhist on Celadon Lotus-Flower Petal Jar

The Mongol triumph of the Song dynasty was the definite victory for the Mongols to rule the whole of China led by Kublai Khan (1260–1294 AD). Mongols forces pushed further into their invasion out of China. The Mongol invasions of Korea (1231–1259) comprised a series of campaigns between 1231 AD and 1270 AD by the Mongol Empire against the Kingdom of Goryeo. Kublai Khan’s troops occupied Burma between 1277 and 1287, resulting in the submission and disintegration of the Pagan Kingdom. The Mongol tried to conquer Japan in 1274 and 1281 AD, but they were impeded by an extreme storm. When the Mongol challenged Vietnam Kingdom, the Mongols failed to win. In 1293, Singhasari Kingdom in Java became the most powerful kingdom in the areas of Java and Sumatra after defeating Srivijaya Kingdom in 1290. The Mongol sent envoys to suing tribute to Singhasari, but the King of Singhasari, Kertanegara, harshly refused it. Kublai Khan was furious and sent a massive combat expedition comprising one thousand ships with 20,000 – 30,000 troops to Singhasari but it ended in defeat for the Mongols. After their default of these invasions, the Mongols preferred to a more strategic way, trading and tribute exchange […]

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Tracing Back of India’s Empires and Pilgrims in Java: The Great Impacts of Hindu-Buddhist Culture to Java Kingdoms in Earliest Centuries

Throughout the years, the historians and archaeologists have delved into the culture of various different Asian countries and they have learned how the past Asian people lived in accord with their culture and religion. By researching the culture and religion of past Asian people, we are enchanted by the existence of the old Kingdoms and temples in Java island influenced by Indian’s Hindu-Buddhist art and culture. Before early centuries, Indonesians were animist and dynamist adherents who believed that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence, and they worshiped ordinary objects that were recognized have the sacred power. They worshipped the spirit of their ancestors through memorial stones or megalithic monuments as the media. When Indians of South Asia came with their religion Hindu and Buddha to Indonesia in 2000 years ago or early first century, Indonesians had changed their religious belief. They used stones to construct a monument used to prepare a sacrificial offering to the Hindu god. They also believed Buddha teachings on Mahayana (The Great Vehicle emphasizing salvation through having faith and committing oneself to Buddha) and Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle or Modest Vehicle emphasizing individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation). Since then, Indonesians recognized that Hinduism and […]

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Guan-type Cong-Shaped Ceramic: Historic, Characteristic and Eclectic Ware of Song Dynasty

Some collectors assume that the originality of art or antique confirming its exact artist and period would rely on its provenance. Provenance is considered being able to confirm whether an art or antique is genuinely of the period it seems to date from. They also believe that provenance could establish the authorship and authenticity of an object, resolve ownership disputes, and increases its value or their investment. The present piece in inherited by Liem Ing Nio’ (1911 – 1979) from her great-grandfather living in Sumatra (Srivijaya) in a century ago when Srivijaya empire was in a golden era. Her father, along with his family, moved to Solo, Central Java, in 1915 to seek more opportunity of his trading activities by approaching King Pakubuwono family of Solo Palace in Central Java, which had close relationship with Dutch government during the colonial periods. After she passed away in 1979, some of her properties, including the current vase, were acquired by her descents. Her descents are now living in several regions, including abroad, Singapore. However, whatever its provenance tells, it is not sufficient to claim its legitimate authenticity of the period on the present artifact. Provenance, however, is not a structural fictional novel, […]

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Archaeological Evidence: Discovering A ‘Yaozhou’ bottle to Reveal Srivijaya Empire and Song Dynasty Relation in 11th – 12th Century.

In 22nd May 1999, the author, accompanied by the team, laboriously but successfully discovered some Chinese artifacts of Northern Song dynasty, dated to 960 – 1127-AD, in Sumatra island, the former Srivijaya kingdoms. The present Yaozhou bottle is one of the archaeological artifacts found in the scrub near Batanghari river basin, Jambi region – Sumatra, in 20th April 1987. The author also recovered some Chinese ceramics of Tang or earlier and Song dynasties with a wide range of glaze and form that were found in different area in Batanghari river basin, Jambi region. (see fig. 1). The Jambi region, around the basin of Batanghari River in Central Sumatra, was the site of pre-Islamic kingdom of Melayu. In ninth century and again in the eleventh century, the Buddhist Srivijaya kingdom in Jambi sent further mission to the Chinese court.2) As the longest river (800 km) in Jambi province, Sumatra island, Batanghari river was recognized as an important pepper port by Chinese and other foreign countries when Palembang served as capital of Srivijaya empire at that time. Otherwise, Chinese traders used it as a settlement area, where Chinese cargos had traded here since 7th century. The author photographed the road of maritime trade between Song dynasty […]

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From Song Dynasty to Jayabaya King: The Prosperous Kediri Kingdom Based on Chinese Inscription of Song Dynasty (960 – 1270 AD)

As we learnt that since the first century, the triumph of Java and Srivijaya kingdoms had been a distinctive attention and fascination for Chinese dynasties. Java and Srivijaya, spanning archipelago and Malay Peninsula regions, had gained dominance in the waters around Southeast Asia and inherited the thousands of year heritage of civilization. In 132 AD, the ancient Chinese manuscript Heou Han hou (Han dynasty) mentioned Java and Sumatra islands as Ye-tiao (葉調國) or Javadvipa. Under Emperor Shun (125 – 144 AD), Java and Sumatra kingdoms entrusted an envoy to Han dynasty to establish the diplomatic affairs.1) During 11th – 13th century, the prosperity of Java kingdom was marked by a new era and dynasty in China, Song dynasty (960 – 1270 A.D). The new era emerged when Five dynasties (907 – 960 A.D) collapsed, and Song dynasty took over the reign and succeeded in promoting peace and unity among the whole areas of China. Song Dynasty was able to create a peace relationship and state defense by establishing friendships with any other strong countries. The dynasty created the diplomatic affairs to other countries by exchanging awards, tributes and mutual concessions, instead of waging a war.2) During 11th and 13th century, Java […]

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The Trace of King Suryavarman I: The Greatest King of Khmer Empire Establishing Tremendous Territories and Temple in 11th Century

King Suryavarman I (1002 – 1050 AD), a great Khmer king of the Angkor period of Cambodian history, marks a turning point in the history of Cambodia. Some scholars researched that he is ancestry to a homeland Malaysia. Suryavarman sized King Udayadityavarman I throne (1001-1002 AD), and defeated his enemy in 1002 AD. He put up a brainy fight with Udatadityavarman I for throne coup. After a sustained war with Udayadityavarman’s successor, Jyaviravarman (1002-1010 AD), Suryavarman I claimed him as a king in his throne in 1010. He established Phimeanakas and Western Baray, and Khmer center at Louvo (Lopburi). As a Mahayana Buddhist, Suryavarman I was tolerant of the growing Theravada Buddhist presence in the Khmer empire.1) The king and his successors extended the boundaries of the Khmer territory far and wide. Under his reign, his troops seized Champa and Annam (in present-day Vietnam), including the lands north of the Menam Valley in modern Thailand. The reign of Suryavarman I is recorded on Khmer stones inscription, and one of them is now in the National Museum at Phnom Penh, Cambodia (see fig. 1: old Khmer and Sanskrit languages written on stone (55 cm), circa 11th c. AD, stating the king Surya Varman I […]

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The Oldest Buddhist Sculpture: The Discovery of 2nd Century Buddhist Buddhism Sculpture in Celebes

In 1921, a bronze Buddhist sculpture was found in estuary of Karama village, district. Sempaga, Mamuju, South Sulawesi (Ujung Pandang) – Indonesia. this Buddhist sculpture was dated to the 2nd century AD or older. Its physical condition is slightly incomplete, and the further excavation was held to find the complete fragments as well as to find evidence of Buddhist settlements in that site. However, the excavation did not succeed in giving definitive clue to reveal the existence of this Buddhist sculpture. Based on the location of the sculpture excavated, the bronze Buddhist sculpture was deliberately placed facing the sea that was believed to guard the people from enemies while protecting the sailors. These courses of action are prevalent in the practice of the Buddhists in mainland India.1) In 1931, the sculpture was ever exhibited at the Exposition Coloniale International or the International Colonial Exhibition in Paris – French. However, on June 28, 1931, this sculpture, along with other artifacts from the Dutch East Indies. was caught on fire. Now, the piece is preserved in the National Museum of Indonesia with inventory number 6057. Overall, the condition of the sculpture can still be observed, although some parts are missing and parts […]

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