The House of Seals - Stamping the Old in Contemporary China

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dc.contributor.advisor Ng, I en Chen, Anne en 2014-03-24T22:03:54Z en 2013 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract As China embraces modernism as she understands it in the scramble to showcase her newly acquired financial status to make a mark on the world stage, it is evident that in the commotion, the simplistic elegance of traditional and vernacular architecture is being generally overlooked by developers and most native architects. The temptation is to be like the rest of the world. But oil is not water, and Global is not Local, and the chief loss when the former floods the latter is the tapestry of culture - variety and uniqueness, identity basically. This thesis suggests that, in fact, local architecture in the form of the vernacular that has grown over time and out of the people of a particular place has still a lot to inform the present with its far higher rate of architectural production in virtually borderless contexts. The subject is cultural continuity in the architecture of China in present times, and this research seeks to provide a bridge between static traditional architecture and fluid contemporary expressions. It identifies the transitional, convoluted period of experiments in engagement with Western influences (1840-1976) before discussing the work of Wang Shu, Ai Weiwei and Liu Jiakun - local architects who approach the subject with intelligence and originality. The design portion of this thesis tackles a museum of the Chinese craft of seal-making, situated in Xitang (Zhejiang Province), China. The traditional art of seal making is as representative as any other of China’s vast array of undying arts and crafts, a visitor interpretive centre dedicated to continuing influence of seals in Chinese society has been chosen as the contextual grounds for investigations into and propositions on cultural continuity in Chinese architecture. The thesis shows that traditional architectural elements, hold the best promise of an intelligent, sympathetic and redemptive approach to negotiating the onslaught of wealth as China continues to build for an ancient culture. The architectural elements (read abstractions) of enclosure, horizontal emphasis, strong axial plan, hierarchy, material and cosmological concepts are essential heritage of traditional Chinese architecture. This thesis argues that heritage, by its very definition, should be treasured, inspirational, and reinterpreted to sustain culture. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title The House of Seals - Stamping the Old in Contemporary China en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 430854 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2014-03-25 en

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