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.

No comments:

Post a Comment