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Chinese Art - Pot Objective Essay

Essay by   •  April 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,018 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,067 Views

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. The entire medium of the jar is laden with full bronze from the inside and out, making for a very heavy, thick, and dense looking craft. Despite this however, the craftsmanship is so extremely refined that every inch of the object's surface is smooth and carefully uniform.

Starting from the bottom, the base of the jar is a flat and square shape with a raised platform which acts like a pedestal for the bigger and broader portion of the jar. The upper portion of the platform is portrayed and almost acts like legs, but the actual support comes from the sheeted plate at the bottom, which is completely flat for stability.

The next part of the jar is the body, and this portion is the largest and probably the focus of the entire piece and is where, if anything, would be stored. The shape of the container is similar to a three dimensional ellipse, and in this specific case looks like an egg turned upside down. However, unlike an egg, the piece harmonizes with the bottom portion and partitions itself into four planar sides, making an illusion of a linear yet rounded object.

On top of the body is what westerners would categorize as the "neck" and "cap" of the jar. The neck returns to the simple square motif of the raised base, but instead of being the platform for the body, it is the holder for the cap. The cap slightly changes the standards in comparison to the other parts, forming a removable pyramid lid that covers the neck's opening. From a first impression, the two together remind me of a simplified western home, where the foundation is rectangular cube crowned by triangular roof that converges at a high point in the middle. At the very top of the cap is what seems to be an extended arrow pointed straight up, the same shape and form as the lid for which it sits upon.

Overall, there is no use of varying colors or textures, but the works itself is detailed by a large amount of other ornate decorations. Every inch of the object's surface, including the base, is covered with low relief patterns and engravings. All of the decorations have a symmetrical perspective and have a distinct order. To start, each of the four sides is separated into four quadrants that are visually identical. Many of the reliefs include button-like circles and linear swirl designs that westerners consider "tribal", and if one pattern is presented on one half, the same pattern is mirrored on the other. Also, the heavier and more "solid" shapes seem to appear more frequently in the center of these sections giving a balanced effect despite the horror-vacuii type of detail that almost overwhelms the eye.

This is also true for what is assumed to be the semicircular handles and animal depictions adjoined to the jar. There are mythical goat creatures whose heads protrude out both the top and bottom of the jar, matching perfectly with the opposite side where a goats head even tops the handle. While this work may be very



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