Saturday, December 08, 2012
Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds
I'm slowly catching up with updating my backdated posts. Here is another exhibition I've been to. It's Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.
The exhibition displayed fascinating Chinese Tang Dynasty treasures and its maritime trade.
In 1998, a fisherman diving for sea cucumbers off the coast of Belitung, an island in the Java Sea, came across an unexpected mound rising above the flat sea floor. It was composed of ceramic bowls and jars, some whole, others fragmentary, buried in the muddy sand.
When salvagers began investigating the site soon afterwards, they discovered that these objects were just part of an ancient cargo that consisted of tens of thousands of ceramics and other, even more precious artefacts and that the ship had carried them was far from home.
The ninth-century Belitung ship is the oldest ocean-going vessel ever found in Southeast Asian waters, and the only Arab dhow.
With its stupendous cargo of Chinese goods, from mass-produced Changsha bowls to prized celadons and white wares.
It confirms the existence of a direct maritime trade route from the Gulf to the South China Sea, and embodies the seafaring enterprise that give birth to legends such as that of Sinbad.
A cache of rare and spectacular Tang dynasty gold and silver objects adds further to the mystery surrounding the ship's final voyage.
It's quite an interesting trip, enjoy the photos!