Lee, Melvin Jun Hong
Date of Issue2015
School of Art, Design and Media
Rituals are part and parcel in Chinese culture. The earliest written records of Chinese rituals are found in the“Three Ritual Classics”(三禮) around the Zhou Dynasty and the Warring States period. They categorized by 3 ancient texts namely, Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial (儀禮), Rites of Zhou (周禮), and the Book of Rites (禮記). Among all the Chinese rites and rituals, mourning rites were written with the most significant coverage and they are focused with the greatest depth. These books include chapters such as mourning attire, mourning procedure, dwelling place during mourning, music for mourning, and many others. Indeed, as Gentz (2010) mentions, “Throughout Chinese literature on ritual, mourning rites occupy a central place… and the chapters on mourning rites constitute the greatest thematic bloc” (pp. 374). This readily showed the level of importance Chinese people viewed death rituals. In this paper, I will explore into the relationships of an “Ancestor” and his “Descendant”. I am keen to investigate the inter-connected relationship between both parties, as one of my motivations is to solve my doubts about this taboo subject. By studying the ritual practices of burning paper offerings as a platform that bridge between both an “Ancestor” and his “Descendant”, I noticed that it inevitably forms an emotional and spiritual reliance, which is prevalent in most Chinese communities. Indeed, Tong (2004) describes how there is a “process of continual exchange takes place between the family and the ancestors” (pp. 4).
DRNTU::Visual arts and music::General
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University