Lesson 1 Here we go!
Influence of Asian Art on Philippine Art and Culture
As early as the 9th Century, and long before Magellan's so-called "discovery" of the islands, trade and cultural contact already existed between the Philippines and its Southeast Asian neighbors including China, Japan, India and Arab Nations. The islands were already known to Southeast Asian mariners and traders such as the Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysians, Indonesians and Cambodians as well as to Southern Chinese people.
Found in different parts of the Philippines are some articles which bore traces of Asian art and culture such as blue and white porcelain, celadon plates, saucers, bowls, cups, bottles, containers with spouts, earthenware pots and cooking stoves and stoneware jars.
The Pandanan island wreck site yielded well-preserved remains of a wooden ship with a cargo of Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese ceremonies. Among these were the blue and white porcelain, celadon plates, saucers, bowls, cups, bottles, containers with spouts, earthenware pots and cooking stoves and a number of stoneware jars. There were also metal artifacts such as cauldrons, bronze gongs two small cannons and some Chinese coins.
From around the 14th Century, it was believed that roughly 70-75 percent of the ceramics discovered in the Philippines are Chinese while some 22-25 percent are Thai and 5-8 percent are Vietnamese.
Philippine pottery was, likewise, a Chinese influence. Burial jars have been found in association with Chinese trade pottery of the Song Dynasty and the Yuan Dynasty. Burial Jars were used in the tradition of burying bones in jars and hiding the jars in caves.
Philippine art, like all the other Asian arts, is essentially religious in nature. The main theme of all arts from painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance and theater is focused on the life of the gods, legendary heroes and mythical beings.
Petroglyphs in the Philippines
The earliest and the first petroglyphs were found in Angono, Rizal. The site is a rock shelter at the foot of a 235-meter peak, three kilometers east-northwest of town. The shelter can be reached up a slight slope from the bed of a stream. The petroglyphs are executed on the wall of the main chamber at heights varying from floor level about 3.7 meters from this reference point.
The floor is quite uneven.
The Angono Petroglyphs is considered a highly significant cultural landmark because it is the oldest known work of art in the Philippines. It is included in the list of National Cultural Treasure of the country and World Inventory of Rock Art. It was also declared as one of the World's most imperiled historic sites in the world by World Monuments Watch and World Monument's Fund.
NOTE: Petroglyphs (also called rock engravings) are pictogram and logo gram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading.
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