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Category: ancient

China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy

8 March, 2013 (10:03) | ancient, ceramics/metal/stone, china, sculpture | By: xensen

That’s the title of the exhibition showing at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco through May 27. I received my new camera — an Olympus E-PL2 — a couple of days ago and took of few pictures of the warriors yesterday. The E-PL2 is a micro four thirds mirrorless camera that has a near-DSL-size sensor but a small body. It should be perfect for the travel photography that I like to do.

The AAM display features dark-colored walls and dark rooms with moody lighting. The warriors are not, of course, light sensitive — originally they were brightly painted, but they are never shown that way today — but the exhibition design makes an effective display. Low light situations are not really this camera’s strength, but it performed pretty capably.

terracotta warriors and horse

terracotta warrior (kneeling archer)

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Terracotta Warriors opening party at Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

18 February, 2013 (20:19) | ancient, ceramics/metal/stone, china, sculpture | By: xensen

Terraacotta Warriors opening party invite

The Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin Street in San Francisco’s Civic Center) is hosting a party to celebrate their opening of an exhibition featuring some of the First Emperor’s terra-cotta warriors. The party, beginning at 7:00 this Thursday, February 22, will feature  CHERYL, an artist collective that throws “the Big Apple’s most outrageous party” (Time Out London).

In other news, 7junipers has been inactive for some time dealing with nonvirtual projects. I hope to return to more active blogging. We shall see.

Ai Weiwei, 1983

15 August, 2011 (05:00) | ancient, china, contemporary, prints/photographs, sculpture, south asia | By: xensen

This fellow in a New York mood is Ai Weiwei, self-photographed in 1983. His show at Asia Society just completed, but there is still what looks like an excellent exhibition of Buddhist sculptures from Pakistan at the Asia Society Museum, including this handsome Gandharan bloke, on loan from the Lahore Museum:

Endless warriors

29 April, 2008 (05:00) | ancient, ceramics/metal/stone, china | By: xensen

the first emperor's warriors

Can’t get enough of the First Emperor’s terra-cotta warriors? Well, you’re in luck: The Bowers Museum is presenting the largest loan of the terra-cotta figures ever, called Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor. The exhibition opens May 18 and runs through October 12. What a cash cow this discovery has turned out to be!

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Huge tomb find in China’s Shaanxi Province

2 April, 2008 (05:00) | ancient, ceramics/metal/stone, china | By: xensen

The discovery near Xi’an of a Qin Dynasty tomb group is believed to be the largest found in China; it comprises 604 tombs.

“I was astounded by the sheer number of tombs,” said Sun Weigang, a researcher with the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeological Research. “We know Shaanxi is rich in cultural relics, with over a thousand tombs unearthed every year. But we have never found so many in such a small area”.

Most of the tombs are of ordinary people and do not contain particularly valuable objects, but are of enormous interest to archeologists researching the social life of the period. A vast collection of pottery and bronze ware has been unearthed including cauldrons, pots, jars, axes and swords, as well as more than 200 complete human skeletons.

Archaeologists hope the discovery of the tombs will help them locate the site of the ancient Qin Dynasty city of Liyi.

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via Dream Art Gallery

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Earliest known oil paintings

29 January, 2008 (05:00) | ancient, paintings, west asia | By: xensen

oils paintings in bamiyan caves, afghanistanAccording to a group of Japanese, European, and U.S. scientists restoring damaged murals in caves in the Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley (famous for the stone Buddhas that were destroyed by the Taliban) the cave paintings reveal a sophisticated technique of oil painting.

More than a third of paint samples analyzed by the Getty Conservation Institute, using gas chromatography methods, reveal the presence of oils.

The development of viable techniques of oil painting has been attributed to the European Renaissance, but Buddhist images painted in the central Afghan region, dated to around 650 AD, are in fact the earliest examples of oil used in art history, according to Yoko Taniguchi, an expert at Japan’s National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.

Following is an excerpt from the Sri Lanka Daily News:

“It was very impressive to discover that such advanced methods were used in murals in central Asia,” Taniguchi said.

“My European colleagues were shocked because they always believed oil paintings were invented in Europe. They couldn’t believe such techniques could exist in some Buddhist cave deep in the countryside,” she added.

Painters of the Buddhist murals used organic substances — including natural resin, plant gum, dry oil and animal protein — as a binder, which even today is an important element in paint.

A binder keeps pigment particles together in a cohesive film and allows the paint to resist decay.

The researchers are trying to restore the murals amid international efforts to salvage what is left of Bamiyan.

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Jades analysis indicates lively ancient sea trade

10 December, 2007 (05:00) | ancient, ceramics/metal/stone, china, southeast asia | By: xensen

ancient feng tian jade

A Reuters story by Tan Ee Lyn reports on an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the report, an international team of scientists performed X-ray spectrometer analysis of 144 jade ornaments in museums in southeast Asia. The jades were thought to date from 3000 BCE to 500 CE. The analysis determined that at least 116 of the jades were made from stone that originated in Fengtian in eastern Taiwan. Fengtian jade is typically a translucent green mottled with dark spots.

The article quotes lead researcher Hung Hsiao-chun, who noted that one of the Fengtian jades found in the Philippines dates to 2000 BCE:

There was a very huge workshop in Fengtian, dating back to 3,000 BC. Before, researchers thought all the jade in the Philippines was from China or Vietnam. With our analysis … we found that most of the ornamental jade in the Philippines was from Taiwan…. Their seafaring methods must have been very superior, even back then.

Shown is an ancient Fengtian nephrite earring unearthed in the Philippines. The image is from ABC News in Science, where the source is listed as PNAS/Yoshiyuki Iizuka.