Monday, August 29, 2011

Old School Warriors: Qin Dynasty Infantry.

We visit ancient China in this post. I've had an interest in the Qin Dynasty warriors for some time but had never really gone and did more reading up on it.

At the Asian Civilizations Museum here in Singapore, there's a Terra-Cotta Warrior exhibit. Since I have an interest in really old military things, I took the opportunity to head on down to see the Terra-cotta statues in real life. I got more than what I bargained for. The setup wasn't terribly impressive given the size of the space - but they had one of each type of soldier, from the General standing out front, to the kneeling crossbowman. So it looked like a good opportunity to learn more. And it was.

As I walked around, the whole concept of having references for your artwork being there in front of you is reinforced deeper in me. You simply cannot beat having the real thing in front of you. I could walk around and get a 360 view of what I could never get off the internet search. I could see the leftover red pigments on the lanyard reinforcing the flexible parts of the soldier's armour (they were brightly painted in ceremonial colors as noted by archeologists). I could make out they had different footwear, the Cavalrymen wore something drastically different from the infantry. I could even make out how their tunic underneath the armour was layered. Though they may not be very accurate, I could get a genuine idea how the lamellar plates were layered and where the stiff and flexible areas of the body armour were.

I was gonna reach out and touch them (like I did years ago with a genuine Van Gogh :D) but I can't really be sure if I won't get kicked out - there were several security personnel around at all times.

Also I read on a history buff forum. I believe it was the China History Forum that the Qin army did have shields, and they probably looked very similar to the Han shields that came later. The theory made sense, technology went backwards after the Qin Dynasty collapse, not forward. So there wasn't any reason to believe something used effectively by the mighty Qin army previously would be discarded so soon after the fall of the dynasty.

It was a pretty good exhibit for its scale. I also got to test out the new fountain pen I bought for sketching pretty thoroughly. The exhibit is only 5 bucks, plus its not likely I'll head on down to Shaanxi anytime soon to see the actual dig itself and see the warriors in the thousands, so this will have to do.....for now.

More information on the exhibit at the Asian Civilizations Museum can be found >>HERE<<

1 comment:

Yongkie Angkawijaya said...

Nice bLog! I Learned a Lot about chinese ancient armor...
CouLd you post more about the other kingdoms too(Chu, Qi, Jin, Haan, etc) Thank you! :)
(y) (y) (y)


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