Essay Example on Chinese Architecture and Culture

Published: 2022-12-26
Essay Example on Chinese Architecture and Culture
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Architecture World Art
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1537 words
13 min read


Chinese art incorporates Chinese architecture, whether modern or ancient. The architectural work is practised in China by Chinese artists. Chinese architectural works are recognised across the globe; in most cases, the modern architectures borrows a lot of ideas from the ancient Chinese artworks that mainly portrayed the cultural aspects of the Chinese people (Mak & Ng, 2008). In ancient times, Chinese architectural works primarily involved the use of timber in the design of various structures and buildings. Alternatively, there was also the idea of arch buildings in different structures to bring out appealing styles. Chinese architecture employed multiple concepts and techniques in ensuring a stylish and robust structure. The stone carvings, as well as the rammed earth constructions. The technologies were used in the construction of various significant structures such as the Great Wall.

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The site visit was a great experience, with many architectural features and the artwork experienced; it was a great adventure. During the visit, exploring the artistic and engineering work was an excellent experience. In most cases, the theoretical work could not explain the reality on the ground, and through the site visit, there were a lot of things that came into actual view. The site visits often provide a great opportunity to learn practically whatever is necessary for the area of specialization. From the site, there was an opportunity to learn different things that could not be understood in the theoretical approaches often used in the classroom. In other words, various conceptual frameworks cannot fully make an individual to understand the real concepts that are applied in practice.

During the site visit, I realised that the Chinese architecture mainly involved the use of timber in designing various structures. Also, after the design is completed, Chinese architecture often applies elaborate paintings and wood or stone carvings to enhance the beauty as well as the attractiveness. The Chinese architectural works, the designs as well as the approaches are taken to accomplish the appealing structures originates from the ideas developed during the Shang Dynasty. Chinese architectures adhere to the principles of construction and layouts. According to Chinese architectural ideas, painting or artwork plays significant roles in different situations; they are often applied in the expression of artistic thoughts and ideas. In many cases, pictures are used to narrate the occurrence of events whose outcomes influence the general life in the society such as revolutions that often changes the systems of governance and economic status (Moller, 2009).

From the site visit, my personal feeling was that the Chinese artworks are persuasive and functional, the correct interpretation of different paintings usually enables the society to adopt diverse approaches of learning historical events, and they also increase the curiosity of people towards a given idea that relates to the past occurrences. Some of the artistic works are ceremonial as they are used to commemorate or celebrate significant events in personal life, culture, worship or rituals. In some cases, with the structures, sometimes the leaders became dissatisfied with the autocratic political structure that involved many different states. Therefore, the designs together with the painting express the nature of encounters as well as the forms of demonstrations that were used by the civilians.

Chinese Architecture and Culture

Chinese architecture is the career of culture; the styles of Chinese architectural works are varied and rich. For instance, the design of the imperial palaces, temples, pavilions, alters, official residences, as well as the folk houses, generally reflect the ancient thoughts which involve harmonious unity of human beings with natural and cultural practices (Mak & Ng, 2008). The evolution of architectural designs originated from the simple ancient ideas to the present complex technical and advanced forms. The growth has been facilitated by the increase in research and innovation that has been on the rise since the 18th century (Mak & Ng, 2008). The inventions have resulted in sophisticated designs of modern structures that have made the world to be a beautiful place.

In China, most of the architectural works follow the idea of Feng shui, the Chinese geometry. Fengshui is a pseudoscience that originates from ancient China; it is the form of design that applies the energy forces to harmonise individuals or people with their surrounding environment. In the past and even in the modern times, Feng shui has been widely used to orient buildings, especially the spiritually significant structures including the tombs, dwelling structures and even the public structures that host people for various events, in an auspicious manner (Chen & Wu, 2009). Depending on a specific style of Feng Shui being applied, the auspicious sites could be determined through making references to the local features including stars, water bodies or the compass.

The history of architecture elaborates the changes in the structural designs through various regions, tradition, dates as well as the overreaching stylistic trends. The ancient architecture was mainly experienced in Greece, Roman Empire, Asia, China and different parts of Europe and the rest of the world (Mak & Ng, 2008). The forms or styles of building depended on the civilisation and the cultural practices of people of a specific region and the need to ensure a sustainable environment.

In Chinese culture and every other ancient country, the structure of the buildings and different designs portrayed the cultural practices and the way of life of the people. For instance, the sancai, Tomb Figurine of an Equestrian Hunter, represent one of the earliest Tang dynasty tomb figures used as a monument on the tomb of the deceased (Yatsenko, 2014). The figurine is found in the Allen Museum. The sancai pottery consists of different features that depict the cultural practices in ancient China. Just like in the modern culture where images are used on graves as the remembrances of the deceased, Tomb Figurine of an Equestrian Hunter was also used on tombs to for memorial (Chakrabarti, 2013). In ancient Chinese culture, several tomb artefacts and figurines were developed to be buried with the dead. The Tomb Figurine of an Equestrian Hunter is identical to the Tang dynasty. The earliest Chinese cultural norms stipulated that every individual possess two souls "po" and "hun." When a person died, "hun" soul would go to heaven while the "po" soul would remain with the body inside the tomb (Yatsenko, 2014). Therefore, tomb figurines were designed especially for the "po" soul. The "po" soul was to use the artefact afterlife; the sancai represented all the needs of the deceased especially the forms of lifestyle before death (Yatsenko, 2014). The main function of the Tomb Figurine of an Equestrian Hunter was to care for the deceased master after burial. The analysis of the different tomb figurines in several Chinese dynasties enables an individual to appreciate changing historical and social situations of each period. The paper examines the functions of Tomb Figurine of an Equestrian Hunter sancai and the physical context on which it was found.

The fundamentals of Feng Shui creates the ideals of flow, function, and harmony into the visions of architectural ideation. Feng Shui means wind-wate, and it is the Chinese art or practice placing or positioning structures including building, tombs so to harmonize with the spiritual forces (Chakrabarti, 2013). For instance, the sancai, Tomb Figurine of an Equestrian Hunter was carefully placed so that they can harmonise with the spirits, in other words, they were mostly used to appease the "po" spirit of the deceased by keeping them within the society to which the deceased belonged. With the presence of sancai on the tomb, people believed that they were still connected to the deceased and that the sancai would continue portraying the activities done by the individual during his lifetime (Chakrabarti, 2013). In ancient China, the grand tombs were perceived as a modified paradise for the dead reflecting the best features of earthly life.

The idea of Feng Shui is constant when it comes to architectural designs. In buildings, Feng Shui is consistent, whether at the forefront or subconscious of the design processes. There are scenarios where the ideas behind the above practice represent a contradiction for the design brain. In some cases, they can be inevitably overlooked to allow the imagination of the architectural project to flourish in a manner of provocative juxtaposition, whimsy, or to just honour the sensibility within the logic of the overall design without the spiritual connotations.


Chakrabarti, V. (2013). Indian Architectural Theory and Practice: Contemporary Uses of Vastu Vidya. Routledge.

Chen, X., & Wu, J. (2009). Sustainable landscape architecture: implications of the Chinese philosophy of "unity of man with nature" and beyond. Landscape Ecology, 24(8), 1015-1026.

Mak, M. Y., & Ng, S. T. (2008). Feng shui: an alternative framework for complexity in design. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 4(1), 58-72., S. (2009). Horses of the Xianbei, 300-600 AD: A Brief Survey (Vol. 378, p. 181). Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Yatsenko, S. A. (2014). Images of the early Turks in Chinese murals and figurines from the recently-discovered tomb in Mongolia. The Silk Road, 12(2014), 13-24.

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