Thursday, March 31, 2011


We enjoyed this task a lot as we got to work together in groups and explore a nice place. This gave us a good chance to bond. There were other friends there and we could easily collaborate the information each of us had.

Out first problem was the meeting time. Our decision was very last minute and only managed to reach at 10.30am. We wanted to save time by exploring both locations at the same time so we split the group into two. We were also short of one group member but we gave him the task to create the blog and eventually, evenly spread out the tasks.

We could have woken up earlier and used more time on the Asian Civilisation Museum. We could also read the instructions more carefully and evenly spread out our tasks. We would definitely like to have something like this again as it was really fun. We hope there will also be some kind of competition to make it even more fun!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Singapore River. Past, Present and Future

Changes of at Singapore River.
From old chinese junks to tourist boats.

Similarities of the past and present Singapore river.
-Singapore river is the central business area of Singapore.
-In the past, it is the central business area because the Singapore River connects to the sea where traders can enter.

From the past to the present, there had been many changes and there are more to come...

Source for picture of old Singapore River

Historical buildings

Three buildings along the river.


Quaint bridges span the Singapore River, ranging from the elegant Anderson Bridge to the simple Ord Bridge. Heading upriver, you will see the historic Anderson and Cavenagh Bridges. Cavenagh Bridge, built in 1869 and now for pedestrians only, leads to Empress Place, which was named in honour of Queen Victoria. At Empress Place, you will find the elegant Victoria Concert Hall, where classical concerts by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra are held regularly.

Welcome to the Singapore River

The Singapore River is the central business district of Singapore. That is why you will see many business buildings there.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Asian Civilisations findings

1. Chair (Southeast Asia)
This is an African stool. As in the picture, the chair has many designs and is made up of smooth stone. Seats are important symbols of Luba kingship, and are found in many African societies. These caryatid (figures that support something) stools usually have females supporting the seat.

In the few stools in the museum, the females calmly support the weight with no apparent effort. One figure has closed eyes while some others have wide open eyes (this one is closed) with elongated arms balancing the seat with her fingertips. These figures have scarifications and elaborate hairstyles shaped like a cross - popular in upper class Luba in the 19th century. The sculpted figures represent female ancestors, who literally and spiritually support the Luba chief. The female figures also serve as a link between ancestors and the living chief as an affirmation of his power.

How has it changed?: Stools now are made with different material and are used for many things. Stools now have backrest and four legs to support weight. Chair also do not symbolise many things in modern day.

2. Brush (China)
The brush is a very important symbol in china.The writing brush is the traditional Chinese writing implement in calligraphy. The earliest writing brush can date back to the Warring States Period (476BC–221BC).

The nib of the brush is made of the hair of a wide variety of animals, such as goat, wolf, rabbit, deer, chicken, duck, pig, tiger, etc. In order to achieve a balance between steely and feathery lines, the nib will sometimes be made of hair from two different types of animals as different hair has different characteristics.
 The Chinese writing system is an unique phenomenon in the modern world of alphabet scripts. Instead of a few dozen letters, it has developed thousands of complex signs or "characters" that represent morphemes and words. Even related writing systems such as Japanese and Korean while sharing many of the same characters, can fully function as purely phonetic scripts. And while it is not the only living logographic writing system in the modern world, it is the only one serving as the primary writing system for hundreds of millions of people.
The chinese used the brush to write down their chinese words such as in letters, scripts, calligraphy and even in court. 

How has it changed?: The nib of the brush is not made of real animal hair but thin plastic strands. This allows it to be cheaper and more disposable. The brush handle is now made of plastic too instead of porcelain or wood. 

3. Weighing scale (China)
The weighing scale is also a very important and crucial object in china. The weighing scale is used to weigh objects for trading and selling. Smaller weighing scales are used for weighing medicine. Many things are sold/traded by weight such as gold and rice. Some cunning shopkeepers in China move the fulcrum of the weight by a little bit to cheat their customers. Some weights are also placed on one end of the scale to measure the weight of the object at the other end. Usually, there are some measurements at the top of the weighing scale to calculate the exact weight of an object.
How has it changed?: Now weighing scales are more advanced and uses electronics to measure weight. It can now even measure up to a milligram.