Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Change and Continuity (Asian Civilisations Museum)

Chosen civilisation: China
  • How they deal with constraints: China has been facing a constraint of overpopulation, as learnt in Geography last year. It has caused a number of problems, such as lack of food and resources. To deal with it, the China Government have started the One-Child Policy since 1980. It is a policy that makes sure each couple only has one child, and it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some advantages of this policy is that it help to curb China's
population drastically, enables enough resources to be given to everyone in the country, and parents can spend more of their time focused on one child.

Some disadvantages are that it causes gender imbalance (more males) and inferiority of females.
  • How they contribute to changes in Asia: Because of the huge population in China (still), a lot of them move to other parts of Asia to work and earn more money. This helps other Asian countries to build their buildings fasterand more efficiently, making Asia more urbanised and increase its economic growth. It also spread multi-racial and a variety of cultures and races around the Asian countries.

Artefact 1: Embroided Dragon Robe

  • The artefact, the Embroided Dragon Robe, evolved to the present day Chinese traditional dressing, such as the Cheongsum and Qipao. There are differences between the Embrioded Dragon Robe and the present day Cheongsum and Qipao:

Firstly, the Embroided Dragon Robe has more exaggerated designs, such as dragons.

Secondly, the Embrioded Dragon Robe has more variety of colours on it compared to the present day Chinese traditional dressing. Present day Cheongsum and Qipao usually only have two colours on it, whereas the Embrioded Dragon Robe has many.

Lastly, it has a different cutting and size. Present day dressing are smaller than the Embrioded Dragon Robe, in order to fit the person perfectly.

Artefact 2: Book (Text)

  • The way of writing Chinese characters during the ancient Chinese civilization has evolved lot to the present day Chinese text.

Firstly, the text used during the ancient Chinese civilization are written in what it is known now the Traditional Chinese. In Present day China, Traditional Chinese has evolved into Simplified Chinese, which is used in most places, including Singapore.

Secondly, during the time of the ancient Chinese civilization, the text is written from right to left. Nowadays, chinese text is written from the left to right.

Lastly, during the time of the ancient Chinese civilization, text is written vertically, from the top of the page to the bottom of the page. Currently, chinese characters are written horizontally, from the left to right.

Artefact 3: Tomb Guardians

  • Tomb Guardians were statues placed in the burial grounds of the deceased, as to ward off evil spirits and to ensure safe passageway from one world to the other. But the spiritual beliefs have changed:

Firstly, those deceased buried do not have tomb guardians, possibly because of the limited land space.

Secondly, most people are now cremated instead of being buried.

Lastly, tomb guardians were thought to help protect the decreased, but now, people burn things to ensure that the deceased have enough items with him/her when she reaches the next world.

Weiliang Nie. China's one-child policy - success or failure?. Retrieved from

Ruta Smithson. Chinese Tomb Guardian Figures on View at Princeton University Art Museum. Retrieved from

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