With the Chinese New Year in full swing, this month we are looking at different aspects of China. I will look at some elements of Chinese History.
China is well known for its ceramics industry. Perhaps one of the most well known items are the Ming vases. The Ming vases were created during the time of the Ming Dynasty that survived for almost 300 years, starting in 1368. This time was one of the flourishing of arts and culture in China. These beautiful ceramics of white and blue encapsulate this and remain a visual reminder of the past. Such was the influence of this style of pottery that the Royal Worcester Company founded in 1751 started to create pieces inspired by this.
The Terracotta Army is one of the most incredible collections of sculpture still surviving. The army was created for the tomb of the first emperor of China – Qin Shi Huang, the army is made up of over 8,000 uniquely detailed life size sculptures which is quite a feat by any measure, especially when you consider that this was created over 1,000 years ago without the aid of modern machinery to mass produce it.
Tea, one of the most popular traded goods was actually at one time quite hard to get hold of. Tea was originally from China and was only found there and exclusively cultivated. It would take Robert Fortune, a plant hunter from the British East India Company to successfully export the plant. It is thanks to him that we now have different varieties of tea such as Kenyan, Darjeeling and Ceylon.
China has many interesting aspects to its history, please feel free to comment below.