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A lead-glazed or ‘sancai’ pottery lion, Tang dynasty (618 – 906 AD)

Copyright  Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

Pottery jar, Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE)

Copyright Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore


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Treasure Troves of the Past: Tomb and Grave Goods from Ancient China

5pm Saturday, 16 September 2017
Visitors’ Briefing Room, Level 1
National Library Building
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064


For centuries, Chinese viewed the afterlife as an extension of worldly life, and tomb and grave goods from archaeological excavations provide a remarkable insight into belief systems and reveal how people in ancient China approached death and how they lived. In addition to mingqi or spirit objects, other magnificent funerary objects through centuries help us understand the significance attached to rituals and practices, where proper conduct of the burial ceremony was always a matter of utmost importance. What better way to understand the present, where elements of this ancient tradition live on to this day in the practice of burning paper representations of luxury goods at Chinese funerals.

Please join Dr. Vidya Schalk as she explores this fascinating topic along with artefacts on display during the talk loaned by members of SEACS. SEACS members will be showing actual tomb and grave objects from their own collections, and the public is also encouraged to bring along items from their collections to share with others.


About Dr. Vidya Schalk

Dr. Vidya Schalk is an author, a speaker, and a member of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society (SEACS), in addition to being a docent at several museums in Singapore, including the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) and the National Gallery. Prior to moving to Singapore, Dr. Vidya was a cancer biology research scientist at Oregon State University. As a museum docent in several world class museums of Singapore, she finds great pleasure in teaching and presenting wonderful artefacts and artworks to a wide range of audiences from all over the world.

SEACS members are encouraged to bring along their guests to this free event. Please RSVP to seacs.secretary@gmail.com. The program will begin at 5pm and end at approximately 7pm. Parking is available in the National Library basement carpark and the closest MRT stop is Bras Basah.