Monday, October 6, 2014

China Mania!: The Global Passion for Porcelain @ Asian Civilisations Museum

Has it already been 3 years since I last visited this museum? The last time I came here, the museum had the exhibition on Terracotta Warriors which I thoroughly enjoyed. We were in the area deciding what to do when our legs brought us here. Free admission for Singapore Citizens and PRs. 

The main thing we really took away from this exhibition was how porcelain was being exported around the world, how Chinese porcelain inspired competition (read: imitation) and how the distinct influences from different countries are apparent from the design of the porcelain.

Porcelain is made with a clay rich in silicates, called kaolin. When Marco Polo saw porcelain being made in China, he called it porcellana (Italian for a type of white seashell).

During the reign of the Ming emperor, overseas trade was banned and exports of porcelain dropped. Potters from Thailand and Vietnam then started making their own porcelain.

Kendi is a pouring vessel with a spout on the side, without a handle.

Kendi in the shapes of animals were mass-produced. Animals such as elephants, cockerels, phoenixes, and ducks were considered auspicious emblems.

The exhibition text was in English only. Click here to select your Gallery Guides, in English, Chinese Malay or Tamil.

The interactivity level of this exhibition was low but that was fine. If you are interested in porcelain or just want to visit a museum for free, make a trip here!

Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place
Singapore 179555


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