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Chinese Technology and Art

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1 Chinese Technology and Art
By Susan Daly

2 Map of China

3 Sanxingdui Bronzes Neolithic Culture Shu Kingdom
Chengdu,China Sichuan Province.

4 Map showing location

5 Finding the site In the 1920’s farmers started finding jade objects and a few pieces of bronze in their fields. They reported these objects and China sent out archaeologists to uncover their source. They found a large cache of jade objects from the Shu Kingdom. It wasn’t until later in the century, that the two ceremonial pits were found. These contain the bulk of the bronze objects on display. The museum was built to house them and work continues to excavate the area for more Shu objects.

6 In July,1986 a major archaeological find emerged near Sanxingdui in western China. Two sacrificial pits were uncovered. Pit 1 was dug during the 14th century bce while pit 2 was dug during the 11th century bce.Over 1,000 exquisite bronze artifacts were found.

7 Jade Ge daggars

8 Jade is not found naturally in this area so it was a trade good
Jade is not found naturally in this area so it was a trade good. It was always considered valuable. Working jade required patience and technical skill.

9 Bronze Tree

10 During the 16th -13th centuries BCE, Chinese bronze casting evolved further. Many ritual vessels for wine were cast as well as bronze weapons .Animal mask decorations were used to decorate many of these vessels as bronze moulding techniques became increasingly sophisticated.

11 Top of the tree

12 Part of the tree

13 Bird at base of the Tree

14 Bronze hinge

15 Unique Bronze Masks

16 Bronze Mask

17 Braided hair in back

18 Inside a bronze mask- showing its construction techniques.

19 A Gold Covered Mask

20 Headgear worn by masks

21 The Terra Cotta Army of Emperor Shi-Huangdi Founder of the Qin dynasty
X’ian, China

22 In 1974, several farmers digging a well found the Terra Cotta Army in their field. They called in local authorities to examine the pieces they had uncovered. As they dug into this field , the archaeologists uncovered the army.They found 3 pits , each with different soldiers in them.

23 Digging this well caused the army to be discovered in 1974.

24 A group of ceremonial guards

25 Pit Number One

26 What kinds of technology would have been used to create 7,000 life-size figures out of clay ? What kinds of materials would have been needed to produce the statues and to fire them in kilns so they wouldn’t break as easily?

27 This pit contains over 6,ooo soldiers

28 Putting the army back together

29 The army being reassembled

30 The bundles are missing pieces

31 When archaeologists work at putting the soldiers back together, they find potential pieces and create a bundle of them for each one. Then the workers searches for the location of a specific piece. If they find ONE PIECE in a day, they are very happy. Putting this gigantic puzzle back together will be the life’s work of many archaeologists.

32 Individual Faces

33 An officer and his horse

34 An archer without his bow

35 Moustaches Archaeologists have found 24 different types of moustaches on the soldiers faces. They show the range of social classes which the army came from. Individual differences could indicate social status or simply personal preference.

36 Officers in the front in battle formation

37 Another view

38 Cavalry troops

39 Bronze Chariot with umbrella

40 A copy of this chariot is shown in the recent movie “ Hero “ which is about 3 people who want to kill the first emperor of China, Shi Huangdi. Because bronze was expensive, the model is only 2/3’s life size.

41 Badaling Pass near Beijing
The Great Wall Badaling Pass near Beijing


43 When Emperor Shi Hunagdi decided to connect all of the parts of earlier walls into one long wall, he forced thousands of peasants to work on this project for him.There are supposed to be bones from many workers buried in each section of the wall. The entire wall is about 2500 miles long.

44 We’ve climbed up a long way.

45 It ‘s a long way up !

46 Very smoggy day





51 Chinese Architecture in Beijing
Forms and designs

52 Chinese architecture of the Ming dynasty uses bright colors, painting detailed scenes, roof tiles, roof guardians, and many marble fence posts. It looks very different than western architecture. Power is shown by space not height.

53 The Forbidden City was considered to be the center of the world by the Chinese. The Emperor was to be at the center of the universe,so the main axis of the city is North-South. The Hall of Supreme Harmony at the center of the city is where the Emperor held audiences.After entering the city you passed through several halls and courtyards on your way to this audience. It was meant to make you feel small.

54 Arial view of Forbidden City

55 From this view of the Forbidden City you can see the North-South axis and the way that Feng Shui was used to design it. It must have a mountain at the back so they built an artificial one called Coal Hill. It was surrounded by a moat which was the necessary water feature for an auspicious location. It is in concentric circles within a square which represents heaven and earth.

56 Forbidden City

57 Each gate is narrow which contrasts with the large squares surrounding all gates. Together the depth and width of the space creates a sense of mystery and a regal attitude.

58 The dragon represents the Emperor while the phoenix represents the Empress.

59 Summer Palace, Beijing

60 The Forbidden City was designed to be both beautiful and impressive
The Forbidden City was designed to be both beautiful and impressive. Its golden yellow roof tiles made it stand out from all other buildings in the area.Although it covers huge areas, it maintains harmony because of how it was designed.


62 Nine is a lucky number in China
Nine is a lucky number in China. Notice the number of nails in each door.



65 Summer Palace Golden Roof Tiles for an Imperial Residence.


67 Roof Guardians


69 The dragon is associated with the Emperor and is used extensively in the Forbidden City as a decorative element. These dragons serve as downspouts to move water away from the hall to protect it. They are the embodiment of imperial power but also serve a practical purpose.

70 Emperor’s Dragon Way




74 Hall of Supreme Harmony

75 Inside the Hall of Supreme Harmony there are 66 great columns
Inside the Hall of Supreme Harmony there are 66 great columns. The throne has dragon decorations as does the screen behind it. The cross beams have dragons in yellow decorating them. The Emperor’s cloak had dragons woven into it. Altogether there are 12,654 dragons in this room. A multiple of the auspicious number 9.


77 Large pots are for Fire prevention

78 All buildings must have water in front of them and mountains at the back pointing to the sun because of the ideas of Feng Shui. In this case the water also served the practical feature of protecting wooden structures in case of fire.The large pots are found all over the Forbidden City.

79 A marble railing


81 Private Gardens of the Emperor


83 Temple of Heaven

84 The Temple of Heaven is where the Emperor made sacrifices to assure bountiful harvests . China was an agricultural society so the importance of this sacrifice was shown by the emperor himself offering it up to the heavens.The hall itself is high and is a symbol for the heavens. All carvings inside are of clouds.

85 Lamma Temple was built by the Ming Emperor’s as a home away from home for the Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism. When he visited Beijing, he lived here.






91 A gate to Ming Tombs



94 Architecture of X’ian Western Capital City Starting place of the Silk Roads

95 Houses from the Train to X’ian


97 Contrast of old and new

98 X’ian Bell Tower

99 X’ian City Wall




103 Mosque in X’ian It looks just like a Chinese temple except the writing is in Arabic.


105 Cultural Diffusion of religion
Cultural Diffusion of religion. Islam came to China along the famous Silk Roads

106 The summer Palace in X’ian

107 A pavilion which sold fish food attracted hundreds of gold fish.

108 Another stone boat


110 Confucius


112 Big Wild Goose Pagoda in X’ian

113 Daoist monk


115 Roof demon to scare away evil

116 Chinese technology and art reflects the society which created it
Chinese technology and art reflects the society which created it. How many places did you see dragons? Why might they appear so often? What else did you learn about the Chinese from these photos?

117 Baodingshan Grotto A World Heritage Site
Dazu, China

118 In China, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism were all practiced together by the Chinese people. The act of creating a religious image was considered to be an act of worship. In our tour of China we saw many people worshipping in temples we visited across China.

119 The carved statues at Baodingshan reflect the 3 religious traditions found in China at the time they were created; Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.The statues survived the Cultural Revolution because of isolation and the involvement of Chou Enlai,a native of the area.

120 Showing a son carrying his parents.

121 Confucius ( on the right )





126 Buddhist Wheel of life being held by a demon. He can’t stop it.

127 Our guide Jeff is explaining the carvings we are learning about at Dazu.



130 Buddhism came to China along the Silk Roads from India where it was started in the 5th century BCE by Siddarta Gautama.It brought with it several symbols shown in many Buddhist images. The most familiar is the lotus flower, a symbol of purity, renunciation and divinity. Buddha is often shown sitting on a lotus.

131 Another important symbol is the Golden Wheel
Another important symbol is the Golden Wheel. The wheel represents motion, continuity and change, forever moving onwards like the wheel of heaven.The eight spokes point in the eight directions and symbolize Buddha’s Eightfold Path: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

132 Leshan carved Buddha- 25 stories tall

133 Buddha’a hand can hold 100 people on it.

134 Since the Taliban blew up the 2 Buddha’s at Bamyan, Afghanistan, Leshan is the largest carved statue of Buddha in the world. It is mainly visible by boat from the river because it was carved where 3 rivers converge to stop the many drownings which took place there and quiet the water. It did stop the rapids.There are stairs which circle the statue to allow you to get several views of it as you climb around it.


136 30 foot tall head

137 Mt. Emei is over 10,000 feet tall
Mt. Emei is over 10,000 feet tall. The act of climbing it, is also an act of worship. There are five different Buddhist monasteries at different levels of the mountain.We visited 2 monasteries, Lingyuan and Wannian. At each stage, pilgrims can stop, pray, and rest. There are four mountains sacred to Buddha in China.

138 Lingyan Buddhist Temple Incense burners

139 Lingyan Temple Bell

140 Wannian Temple on Mt. Emei

141 A fish hanging in this direction says a pilgrim may stay for free here.

142 Monastery buildings

143 A Buddhist monk

144 A Buddhist stupa

145 The dam at Duijiangyan was built 2200 years ago to stop the flooding which was destroying the crops on the Chengdu plain. It is still being used and making that plain a very fertile area. The simple bamboo technology was effective and ingenious.

146 Looking towards a new dam being built upstream.


148 A swinging bridge across the river.

149 Nanjing Museum Jade Gallery




153 Shanghai Museum Bronze Gallery




157 An interesting view


159 A Ram’s head detail in bronze


161 Another achievement is the development of written Chinese characters called calligraphy.It takes about 10,000 characters to read a simple book.Chinese is much harder to learn to write than English is.

162 Calligraphy Lecture


164 In China, the emperor was the only person who could have a yellow roof
In China, the emperor was the only person who could have a yellow roof. He also wore yellow robes embroidered with dragons on them. Red is considered the color of happiness and good luck.White was the color of mourning death . As a result brides wore red robes for weddings.

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