The Tang Shipwreck Cargo

7pm, Friday, 20 November 2015
Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place Singapore 179555

In 2015 Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum embarked on a comprehensive renewal, constructing two new wings, one housing the collection now known as the ‘Tang Shipwreck Cargo’.

Members of SEACS were invited to visit the exhibition in a special tour conducted by Dr. Stephen Murphy.

Dr. Stephen A. Murphy was then Curator for Southeast Asia at the Asian Civilisations Museum and curator-in-charge for the Tang Shipwreck Gallery. He holds a PhD from the Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS, University of London (2010). Before joining ACM he was a research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from 2011 – 2013 for the exhibition, Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia.

In 1998, a shipwreck was discovered just off Belitung Island on the edge of the Java Sea. It contained a remarkable cargo of more than 60,000 ceramics produced in China during the Tang dynasty 唐朝 (618–907), as well as luxurious objects of gold and silver. Bound for Iran and Iraq, the ship provides early proof for strong commercial links between China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

As the largest assemblage of Tang dynasty objects found outside of China and more significantly, recovered from the oldest Middle Eastern shipwreck in Southeast Asia, the Tang cargo collection presents an important slice of global history. It reflects the trading networks that were forged between China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East more than a millennium ago, as well as the cultural interactions between these regions.

This was a private event open to SEACS members only.