Change and Continuity in China

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China has changed in certain ways and remained the same in others from the early Golden Ages to the late 1900s. China has experienced a series of cultural and political transformations, shaping the lives of many Chinese citizens. Culturally, the country’s art and literature hardly changed for almost eight hundred years. Along with their culture, China remained politically the same from the beginning of the Golden Ages all the way until the 1800s. On the other hand, China’s government and society were restructured after new leaders took over. From a monarch to total communism, China’s society had a multitude of new ideas and policies they had to adapt to.

From 618 to the late 1400s, China’s art and literature hardly changed at all. Landscape painting remained a common form of art from the Tang and Song dynasty to the Ming dynasty. In landscape painting, artists tried to capture the essence of nature. Both old and new styles were used as mountains, forests, and even city life, were painted. Some Chinese painters believed that they should “create a harmonious relationship between heaven and earth” when they are painting. Landscape painting was revived during the Ming dynasty, but it always played a role – big of small – in Chinese art. Along with landscape painting, making pottery was another skill that the Chinese had. Porcelain, hard pottery prized as the finest in the world, was a popular form of art that people continued making for numerous years. A variety of glazes were created for decoration and several other objects considered as “chinaware” were developed during the Tang and Song dynasties. These included tea services and porcelain figures ranging from foreigners to camels. Years later, in the Ming dynasty, porcelain was still being made. Blue and white porcelain emerged, and porcelain became a popular export to the west. The Ming vases were the most valuable of these exports, and westerners admired these delicate, beautiful pieces. Lastly, the Chinese...
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