Date of Award
MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)
MA Project - Curatorial Proposal
Master of Arts (MA)
Jade/Nephrite materials have been extensively used in the production of artefacts in the Chinese historical traditions due to which they are a notably significant aspect of the traditional Chinese culture. In China, it is mostly found in a variety of colours and primarily white mutton-fat nephrite, which has greater importance compared to other varieties. It became the most common hardstone utilised for the production of Chinese sculptures because of its abundance in the region and particularly in the Northern Province of Xinjiang as well as characteristics such as hardness, durability, subtlety, translucent colours, and protective features that provided advantages in making sculptures. The presence of the jade culture in China dates back to the Neolithic age with evidence related to Six Ritual Jades found in the Third Millennium BC of the Liangzhu culture. Nevertheless, the large-scale development of the tradition started with Imperial China. In the early periods of Chinese history, there was a significant division among numerous states known as the Warring States period (475 - 221 BC). However, the development of the Qin dynasty and the emergence of peaceful and philosophical traditions in the region resulted in the unity of these states under Emperor Qin. This also led to the emergence of jade culture in Chinese history where ancient jades started to be developed using material and primitive tools such as bamboo, stone, water, stone dust, and other types of available metals for producing symbols of political, philosophy, and social importance. Moreover, these items are primarily handmade using various eloquent and sophisticated techniques for engraving various types of symbols, characters, figures, and designs to highlight diverse meanings.
Tsai, Chenghsun, "MET Exhibition - The relationship between jade tablets in Chinese jade culture and aesthetic interests of recent dynasties in New York" (2021). MA Projects. 121.