Szu Ying Ching- MM history paper01/ 02

MM history paper01


The article proposes three important objects that were imported from China into the West, including tea, porcelain and silk. Also, the article discusses Buddhism in order to explore the culture integration and interaction between the Oriental and the West. By looking into the transformation and development of Chinese culture in western context, certain culture integration pattern emerges from the blurry history and provides people with references about the future of the Global Village.


* Tea culture in China

Tea – the magical beverage invented by Chinese in the first century BC, bear multi-functions in the very beginning (recorded in Chinese dictionary 爾雅). Chinese monks used tea to keep alert in meditation and empires drank it to alleviate the pain of ailments. With the developments of cultivation techniques, tea became a commodity in Chinese daily life.

In the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907), tea trade flourished along the tea horse caravan and Silk Road, and had prudently influenced in Japan, Tibet, Burma and Central Asia.

*Exported to the west countries

Tea as a product, which played a vital rule of connecting the western and

eastern culture in the 17th to 19th century, brought huge profits for China. European imported tea from China not until the 17th century and it is exotic and aroma feature draw west foreign traders, travelers, ambassadors and missionaries to bring tea to their own countries and spread the beverage to the world. Dutch brought the first shipment of both China and Japanese tea to Amsterdam and marketed tea to France and England. The acceptance of tea as a drink in England was slow, but last long, and even impacted the customary American diet. The East India Company, which was found by the England Queen Elizabeth I, monopolized tea trading with China until 1833. In the mid-nineteenth century, various teas were introduced into the market and tea trading was free for anyone. Tea culture bloomed among middle and working class in Europe.

*The transformation of Tea culture in the east and the west

However, tea culture transformed and combined with the local tradition and life style, and shrank and proliferated with the economical environments and dietary trends. In China, tea was cultivated in many provinces and reflected differences in climate, topography and culture. The advent of teahouse also stimulated economics and created working opportunities including storytelling, balled singing, theatrical performing and so on.

Chess competition, business discussions are also common activities in the teahouse. Furthermore, porcelain manufactures were built to meet the demand of delicate teapots and teacups, which contributed to the porcelain production techniques and the spread of Chinese aesthetic spirit.

European adopted the methods of brewing tea, the form of tea set and learned to appreciate this novel object, but the original Chinese tea culture could be hardly seen in their tea culture. In 18th century, upper class and affluent invented western style’s tea gardens and tearooms. Plenty activities take place in tea garden, including fireworks, conjuror, acrobat, bowling and boat trips. The largest tea reception can accommodate 200 guests, waiters serve refreshments, and the room should be decorated elegantly. In the meanwhile, tea proliferated in the middle class and replaced ale for the breakfast. In 19th century, tea drinking declined due to the shift of dinner time (to 9 or 8 o’clock), but afternoon tea later thrived, and different kinds of teas took off, such as nursery tea, Bridge teas, tennis teas, farmhouse teas, picnic teas and cream teas. Tea has it’s own destiny in every country, but it’s phenomenal popularity is always the same.

Tea culture&Packaging







the West



*Porcelain in China

China is the predecessor of the porcelain industry. Porcelain styles and techniques evolved through history. In the Song Dynasty (1600-1040BC), the Chinese invented the first proto-porcelain wares; and, in the Han dynasty, glazed ceramic ware-porcelain was produced. In the Tang Dynasty, tri-color glazed (sancai) porcelain was dominant and exported to the Islamic world. Hard-paste porcelain was also created during this time. In the Ming and the Qing Dynasties, blue and white wares (青花) were the state of art, and marketed through the Silk Road to Europe, Central Asia and Africa.

*Exported to the west countries

In 1295, Marco Polo brought back the first porcelain from China on his return to Italy. It was a small white vase, which was in San Marco Treasury now. The rarity, delicacy, and transparency were so astounding that triggered European starting to reproduce and copy Chinese porcelain. The result is Medici Porcelain (sofe-paste; 1575 to 1597), but the techniques of Chinese hard-paste porcelain remained a secret. After a long-term experiment, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles (18thAD) unveiled the trade secret, producing the porcelain specimen successfully. Afterwards, porcelain manufactures burgeoned in whole Europe. The art craft quickly expanded from Germany to Holland, Dutch, England, France and so on. Augustus II, King of Poland, found the first European hard-paste porcelain factory at Meissen(1710), factories in Venice, in the Royal Palace of Capodimonte, in the Castello of Buen Ritiro, and in Vinovo, have served the monarchy and grandees a large amount of porcelains. At that time, the sophisticated porcelain gained high praise along with Chinese tea culture. European named porcelain “white gold.”

*The transformation of Porcelain in the east and the west

Delicate porcelain was a luxury for nobles and emperors in both China and the West, and its form always stuck to its function. There are sacrificial vessels, stationery items, tablewares and furnishings. The important porcelain factories were established by the government and only served the upper-class. The Tang-style tri-colored glazed porcelain was a breakthrough of the rigid style of single-colored and lead-glazed porcelain pieces of the Hang dynasty; they were painted with multiple colors, including green, yellow, black, blue and so on. Its realistic and romantic presentation in figures, animals and tomb beasts tells that the Tang-style tri-colored porcelain was the result of a cultural exchange with Central Asia. Another vital porcelain style in the history of porcelain is blue and white wares, which was developed in the 14th century. The famous capital of porcelain Jungdezhen, which produced blue and white wares and exported them to the west and Southwest Asia, reached its height in the Qing Dynasty. This kind of porcelain was painted by hand, by transfer-printing or stenciling, under the glaze with a blue pigment(cobalt oxide). In the 17th century, the porcelain industry was highly influenced by  the demand of the European market, both Chinese motifs and European style symbols coexisted on the blue and white porcelain.

Due to the lacking skill of porcelain production, Europe developed its own style of porcelain very late. Between the 13th and 15th centuries, Chinese porcelain pictorial designs included flying cranes, dragons and lotus flowers that appeared in Near-east porcelain. During the 16th century, the first European porcelain imitated the Chinese blue and white ware.Generally speaking, the European countries’ early porcelain industry was the duplicate of Chinese exported wares. However, after catching the techniques, Europe’s own culture and aesthetic philosophy quickly became embodied on the porcelain design. In 18th century, Chinese and Japanese styles were superseded by rococo style art. In the 19th century, porcelain was overtaken by the design trend ”art  nouveau,” which appeared with intricate linear designs and flowing curves. Later, the flamboyant “art deco” wedged between Two World Wars. Porcelain design shifted with the lastest fashion and sparkled in every stage of history.





-The West



*Silk in China

According to the legend, Chinese Empress Hsi Ling Shi discovered silk in the 27th century BCE. She accidentally dropped a cocoon on a silk moth into a hot cup of tea, and the pupa unfurled into fine thread, which was a weavable fiber. Hsi Ling Shi also invented the silk wooden reals and silk looms and persuaded her husband to cultivate mulberry trees and rear the Bomyx Mori, which is a particular moth that produced the best quality of silk; and, of course,  the silk production propagated.

Silk is characterized by it’s shininess, strength , rarity and beauty. In the Hang Dynasty, government officials were paid salary by bolts of silk, and peasants paid taxes in grain and silk. Silk was also a diplomatic gift that was sent to foreign countries as a peace offering. Though silk production techniques did not spread to Japanese and Arab nations until 522 CE, the Chinese were already using silk to produce paper, fishing lines and musical instruments that dominated the silk market until 1908 AD.

Silk is characterized by it’s shininess, strength , rarity and beauty. In the Hang Dynasty, government officials were paid salary by bolts of silk, and peasants paid taxes in grain and silk. Silk was also a diplomatic gift that was sent to foreign countries as a peace offering. Though silk production techniques did not spread to Japanese and Arab nations until 522 CE, the Chinese were already using silk to produce paper, fishing lines and musical instruments that dominated the silk market until 1908 AD.

*Exported to the west countries

The skills of silk production remained a secret in China for a very long time. In 400 CE, a Chinese princess smuggled silkworm eggs on the way as she was sent off to marry a Khotan. In 552 CE, the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian, sent monks to Central Asia to smuggle silkworm eggs to Constantinople in hollow bamboo canes; but both the Byzantine Empire and the Khotan Kingdom kept the secret of silk making as the Chinese did. The trading and weaving of silk fabric was a strict imperial monopoly. During the 7th century, Arabs conquered the Persians and captured the skill of making silk, so that sericulture gradually spread to Europe. Andalusia was Europe’s main silk producing center in the 10th century. Since China couldn’t monopolize the techniques anymore, it re-established itself to become the largest silk supplier in the world in the Tang and Song Dynasties. Afterwards, the Crusades brought the silk production to Western Europe. Italian silk was a significant source of trading in the 13th century; cities of province of Como were crucial silk making centers. Later, France joined the silk trading, inviting Italian silk makers to create silk industries for them, and challenged Italy’s silk trading leadership in the 17th century. However, silk was only used by the nobility and its techniques were constricted by the governments in Medieval Europe.

*The transformation of Silk in the east and the west

The sericulture considerably increased in the Hang Dynasty, and nobles began to form workshops of their own. In the Tang Dynasty, not only workshops involved in the production of silk, but the government also had “weaving and dyeing” departments, which controlled silk production, from ceremonial headdresses to multi-colored silk fabrics. Furthermore, the ancient rulers used colors and patterns to differentiate hierarchy in order to govern the whole nation; so, different colors and patterns were allowed for specific classes of people to wear. For example, yellow was only for emperors in the Tang Dynasty, and citizens were forbidden to wear it, and the motifs on silk were always about Chinese traditional blessing symbols, legends and divine animals. Moreover, there were various ways and techniques to embellish silk fabrics, including embroidery, printing and weaving.  A famous poem said that “ A silkworm spins all it’s silk till its death and a candle won’t stop its tears until it is fully burnt” ; Poets also describe a woman’s raven hair as “black silk.” It is obvious that sericulture has been infused in the Chinese way of life.

In Europe, sericulture greatly relied on techniques, equipment and raw material, which meant that in the early stage, the Silk Road was the main corridor to transfer the sericulture. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, Italy’s artisans and factories attained reputation for their silk production; its merchants and artisans were crucial disseminators for silk production.The most expansive product in Europe is patterned silk velvet, but damasks and brocades were costly as well. The best velvet incorporated gold and silver threads with large floral patterns after the pomegranate motif.  Because sericulture expanded to the aristocracy, each country and time had its various trends of silk pattern designs. For example, the English gained fame for it’s actual botanical specimen based on a floral pattern. Also, silk fabric was used in wall coverings, furniture and in fashion because of its prestigious quality.




-The West



*Buddism in China

The dissemination of Buddhism in China can be traced back to the Hang Dynasty, an embassy sent to the West via the Silk Road by the Chinese emperor. In the 1st or 2ed century BCE,  Kushan empire intruded into Tarim basin(Chinese territory); as a result, Central Asia missionaries entered China’s capital cities. In the 3-7th century, records show that many pilgrims went to India along the Silk Road for the original Buddism scripture, including Faxian(法顯) and Xuangzang, which proved that the Tang Dynasty has direct contact with North Asia. With the translation of original scriptures and missionaries’ efforts, Buddhism rooted its foundation in China in the Tang Dynasty and widely practiced by the general public. In the 5th and 6th century, merchants along the silk road, who supported Monastery, also played an important role of spread the religion.

*Exported to the west countries

Though Buddhist gained popularity in the modern western society, the West and Buddhist worlds have occasionally interactions since the ancient time. The earlest encounter might be when Alexander the Great conquered Central Asia in 334 BC. Later, according to the plates and pillars that India emperor “Asoke” left , he sent emissaries to various countries to spread the religion, as far south as Sri Lanka and as far west as Greek, and possibly reached Mediterranen. Early Christian writers in the Rome Empire also documented that around 13CE, Indian emissaries burn himself alive to demonstrate his faith. However, Buddhism in the western world hasn’t been re-estimated and aroused interests among philosophers and teachers until Industrial Revolution. American philosopher ,Henry David Thoreau, dedicated to translating the Buddhist stripture French to English. German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche’s work ,”The Anti-Christ”, published in 1895, worshiped Buddhism philosophy. Due to the political impacts along with the social influence of WWII in the 20th century, immigrants from Asia and refugees from Tibet moved to the West; during this time the general public tended to seek new religions, so that Buddhism has been accepted and valued.

*The transformation of Buddism in the east and the west

The book of Hang give the oldest reference of Buddhism in chinese literature, indicating that the emperor practice both Taoism and Buddhism rituals, which demonstrated that Taoist, Buddhist elements and chinese traditional culture combined together when Buddhism spread into China. Taoism praised the great and immortal men in the distant past, incorporating with Chinese Confucius etiquettes and ceremonies. Zen philosophy combined with Buddhist is an important school in both the China and Japan, emphasizing people to see their real nature and practice meditation in order to abandon sentiment and fulfill “empty” and “harmony” in human mind and body. Buddhism has divided into many dominations in China, though its root was from India, however, it maintained the original spirit and adopted new elements in the religion.

After transmitting along the continents of India, Vietnam, Thailand,China, Japan, Buddhist in the west as a foreign religion has its own feature aside from Asian buddhism, and it is mysterious and fascinating for westerner.  The dissemination of this unfamiliar religion should be largely attributed to  the Asian immigrants. The first Buddhists arrived to America is the Chinese that were hired as cheap labors to built the railroad and other infrastructure. They established temples along the rail lines. Also, Considerably numbers of Tibetan migrated to the U.S after Tibet was overtaken by China. The English translation of Tibetan book of dead was  published in 1927. Japanese Buddhists brought their Buddhism, which emphasizes “Zen” to Hawaii and North California as well. In a word, since America is a relatively religious free country, Buddhist was able to ramificate, evolve and mix with the local culture, but it is accept as more like a philosophy than a religion, especially regarding the fashion in yoga and Zen meditation.




Tea, porcelain, silk and Buddhist respectively represent the four facets of culturel. They are food, commodity, cloth and religion. The author could have posed more representatives or objects in our daily life to explain the interaction between the West and Oriental, but the list would never end. Three main changes could be pointed out by comparing the past and the present of above four representatives, including the production methods, Market areas and targets, culture contents.

Tea, porcelain and silk were handmade products in the past, but after the industrial revolution, machine replaced the labor pool and facilitated the production quantity and efficiency. Modern equipments not only increased the plantation area, but they also speeded up the tea cultivation process of withering, rolling, fermentation, drying and sorting, and, subsequently lower the labor cost. Porcelain and silk were also benefit from modern technology. Nowadays, hight technology is applied in the process of refined the raw material, control the firing, combined diverse alloys together, and even able to make identical ancient wares. Regarding silk, the modern technology has successfully achieved silk production without requiring killing silkworm.

Attributed to the development of  technology, products that strictly confined to monopolies in the past are easily accessed by the general public today. As a result, the targeted market shifted, new products are invented and could possibly threatened the origin market share. Silk was the most precious fabric in the past, but with the advent of new fabric such us nylon, eco-friendly and self care fabric, silk has re-position itself toward not only clothing market, but including a wide range of products like interior decoration, thermal underwear and accessories. The global tea demand has continuously increased due to the per capital consumption and new market. In several decades, China’s tea production has steeply increased and achieved the largest exporter in the world.It is also the only country that provides mass production of different kinds of tea. Vietnam is another new important tea exporter; its tea production in 2000 was only sixty-four thousands tons, but in 2010 it achieved one hundred and fifty-seven thousands tons.

Regarding cultural contents, the western cultural and life had been tremendously enriched by the eastern culture before the 18th century. Though tea, porcelain, silk were mostly spread among the upper class social circle, the upper class elevated these foreign culture to a higher stage – art. European artisans applied their art skills, motifs and method to silk and porcelain, and subsequently enlarged the collection in nowadays museum. Also, tea as a beverage has been lifted to the same level as coffee in Europe. Obviously, westerner developed their own cultural contents which were based on Chinese inventions.   Tea cultivation involved vast labor collaboration and botanic knowledge; Porcelain production required chemistry, mathematics and solid painting skill; Silk production also included the knowledge of biology, the coins of new silk implements. It is phenomenal that Chinese inventions has reached this high standard and made great contribution to the whole ancient world. However, it is hard to imagine the western art crafts history without the transplantation of eastern culture.


The future of the interaction and connection between the East and the West would only intensely increase because of the convenience of global trading system like eBay and Amazon; also, undoubtedly the transportation system is faster and more interconnect than the ancient time. Modern people don’t have to rely on marine navigation or the Silk Road; in fact, internet provides them with fantastic cultural exchange and interact platform. Furthermore, the techniques of producing the product in the future are not secrets at all, which means that all competitors have an relatively equal opportunity to sale their products comparing to the distant past time. Tea , porcelain and silk trading would probably be more emphasized on their special features or designs, and therefor, the products would not only be asked to have price advantage, but they should better bear unique and distinguishable culture stamps.



Tea – The Global History


MM history paper02



The last paper I wrote discussed tea, porcelain, silk and buddism, which are  significant objects and religions that had long lasting influences on the western culture in the remote past time. Through looking into main immigrant cities in both Asia and the U.S., including Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong and New York, this paper discusses how the cultural integration embarked on as a result of war, economical demands and migration, and how cultural integration changed people’s lives and consequently brought new designs to the world.


In the ancient time, cultural integration was limited by the transportation technology and communication means, so the cultural evolution itself was likely to be described as  Darwin’s Natural Selection, a foreign culture, which fit the local society’s needs and easy to disseminate, survive, and flourish, and a foreign culture which does not match the needs would die soon or would have to be rediscovered at a later date. The objects which traveled to remote continents quickly evolved to the local culture in order to root itself, so it was difficult to preserve its original meanings and appearances. However, part of the original concept would survive through out the history and organically being spread out in an unexpected way. Furthermore, because the language barriers and the cultural differences, ancient people perceived other cultural elements in their own perspective, which lead to misunderstanding and ignorance.


Overall speaking,cultural integration in the present time is highly influenced by the migration of world population and technology. Contrasting the West to the Oriental, migration in the East is much more categorized as results of war and westerner’s invasion and expansion, though most colony cities benefitted from opening to other cultures. In the West, the relatively high developed cities, social security system and better wages are stimuluses that motivate both developed or undeveloped countries’ people willing to establish themselves in a foreign country.

The colony city’s citizens not only have to struggle for surviving under the foreign countries, but after the colony authorities ended up, they also have to face large scale of social problems and cultural identity issues that colony authorities left behind. However, what damaged colony societies facilitated the blossom of multi-culture. Three important Asian colony cities – Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei, all merged the foreign culture with their local culture in a positive way; they are like the mixed children who were raised by both the mother country and alien dad. New life styles, architectures, clothes, food, social systems were invented, and because these new designs‘ targeted audiences who were not only native Asians but also westerners, the new mixed cultures are much easier for westerners to understand and appreciate. Shanghai and Hong Kong attained phenomenal economic achievements in the world due to their multi-culture characteristics, and Taiwan became the light of democracy in Asia after the colonized period.

The Brief History of Shanghai


Shanghai has been known as “The Paris of the East, the New York of the West.” Its city history tightly parallels the development of Modern China. Before it became one of the biggest financial centers and container ports in Asia and the world, Shanghai has a long interaction with the western countries, which can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty, England waged the “First Opium War” because the Qing government forbid importing opium. By losing the war, China was forced to open Shanghai to British consuls, merchants, and their families in 1840. Soon merchants from France, U.S., Germany, and other foreign forces began to migrate into Shanghai, carving out sovereign concessions where they were not subject to the Chinese laws. This resulted in the burgeon of western cultural dissemination and transplantation in the grand Shanghai. Western giant architectures were built along “The bund” of Huangpu River; Western living style has been duplicated in the concessions. Later on, the intrusion of Japan lead to another cultural impact in Shanghai, Japanese started to control all of the Shanghai until the end of WWII. Each cultural impact left its footprints, and Shanghainese life and culture became the greatest example of cultural integration.

New inventions:

1.Modified Cheongsam


Cheongsam is one of the most distinguished symbols of chinese fashion culture. Its name comes from the pronunciation of “Long dress ” in Cantonese, and its original design traced back to the Manchu tribe clothing, who conquered the Ming dynasty and ruled China for 268 years. Under the dynastic law, the Chinese people were forced to wear Cheongsam, which during that time was fitted loosely and hung straight down the body, even to the floor, and flared in an A-line.This wide and loose design would cover a woman’s whole body and conceal the true figure of the wearer regardless of age, manifesting the conservative tradition and concept of a woman.

Today, the term ”Cheongsam” is always referred to the modern version of the dress – slender and form fitting with a high cut. The dress not only shows women’s figure, but also was a demonstration of the large shift from the conservative tradition to a relatively open culture. With the advent of woman’s rights movement, the Western fashion design in 1920 already experienced the emancipation of woman clothes, and this trend apparently went to China via the increasing interaction between the East and the West. The modern Cheongsam first developed in Shanghai in the 1920’s and soon embraced by celebrities, movie stars and the upper class. Though the concept of new dress still hides woman’s breast, legs and most of the body, it was tightly fit the figure. The length of the dress and sleeve became shorter and shorter, as well as the high cut. As a result, contrast to the traditional version, modern Cheongsam is a fusion of the western and the eastern fashion, representing both the conventional beauty and sexy body.

When looking at the contemporary fashion in the western world, the elements on modern Cheongsam has been redesigned and integrated to the western style dress. For instance, french designer Paul Poiret, Vogue Italy in Oct. 2011, Louis Vuitton in 2011 spring and summer. The modern Cheongsam, which originally bears western influences, is regarded as exotic aroma by westerner and impacts western world now.



Coffee is so popular in the western countries though out the history, but it was not imported to China until around 1840, and it was planted in southern China around 1990. Because Shanghai was the main commercial port and concession, it had the largest population of foreigners in China; as a result the demand and purchase of coffee remained the highest in the country.

For the Chinese, coffee is not just a drink migrated from the West, but it not also a drink of the Western civilization, the middle class’s entertainment and the symbol of romance.The acceptance of coffee was facilitated by three ways:1.Foreign restaurant 2. Vender shop. When foreigners came to Shanghai, they also brought their dietary costume, and coffee is an essencial part in almost all western countries. The coffee tradition has been preserved in Shanghai’s western restaurants, where coffee would be listed on the menu and served as a perfect ending of a formal meal. Though Chinese people fought to accept the western food in the beginning, going to western restaurants has been regarded as high class recreation, so they started to open new western restaurants and subsequently introduced coffee to the public. Also, there were different venders who sold chinese snacks such as dumpling soup, soy milk, chinese cake  and drinks on the Shanghai streets. With the impact of Western culture, the vender of bread and coffee emerged and provided citizens with bread, milk, butter, jelly and coffee.It earns a lot of money and even served customer with late dinner.

shanghai coffee-01

shanghai coffee2-01


The Brief History of Hong Kong


Hong Kong embarked on its journey as a coastal island closed to southern coast of mainland China. It became part of China’s territory in the Qin Dynasty but did not have large population until the Han Dynasty. In the Tang Dynasty, Guangdong region flourished as an international trading center and subsequently stimulated Hong Kong’s economical growth. However, the First Opium War resulted in ceding Hong Kong to the United Kingdom in the Treaty of Nanjing(1842), and then Hong Kong has been ruled by the British government for about 150 years. During 1941 to 1945, Japanese temporarily overtook Hong Kong and has tried to practice Japanisfication on the Island, but soon defeated by Chinese and British armies.Under the special politics and geographic circumstances, Hong Kong gradually altered from a fishing village, salt production site to a international financial centre.

The population of Hong Kong was always a mixture of refugees from mainland China, sailors, foreign merchants and militaries though out history, and this consequently contributed to the eastern and western cultural integration. Though the British government established many schools and churches, the British did not replace the original culture by the england culture, instead, the British embraced non-interventionism to Chinese culture. The evidence is that Polygyny in Hong Kong was not forbidden until 1972. Before the Return of Hong Kong(1997) to China, Hong Kong has achieved irreplaceable status in the world. It has the world’s 6th highest GPD per capita and according to the Index of economic freedom, Hong Kong remains the world’s freest port since 1995.


New inventions:

Tea food hall ( Cha Chaan Teng)

In the beginning, western food was viewed as luxury and only high-class restaurant provides it with foreigner. After WWII, Hong Kong people started to include western food into their common dietary and subsequently developed Canto-Western Cuisine and drinks. The restaurant which serves Canto-Western Cuisine called “Cha Chaan Teng,” literally means ”Tea food hall.” Its target customers are the local people instead of foreigners, and its low price, fast service and food variety has matched the need of quick pace Hongkong society and the economic environment after WWII.

By taking a glance to the Cha Chaan Teng’s menu, one would understand how Hong Kong people mingled western and eastern dietary culture together. The Yuangyang tea is a mix of coffee and tea, originated in Hong Kong; silk-sock milk tea features in the smoothness and concentration. Lemon tea, Sandwich, Toast, Fruit Punch are western food items that are served; Instant noodles, Barbecued meat and Youtiao, fried rice are chinese food items. During lunch or dinner time, customers are request to“”daap toi” which means strangers would sit together in order to increase the efficiency. Cha Chaan Teng also was featured in many Hong Kong movies and TV dramas, and now it has been spread to Taiwan and China.

The Brief History of Taiwan


Taipei in Japanese rule period                                                                                             Today

Taiwan is a relatively young country. Its ruler of Taiwan has been Indigenous Taiwanese, Dutch(16th), Chinese in the Qing Dynasty(from 17th to 19th century), Imperial Japanese(1895-1945), postwar Chinese(after1949) and even the American(20th and 21st century), as a result, Taiwan’s culture shifted with every regime change, and now it is a blend of Confucianist Han Chinese, Japanese, European, American, global, local and Taiwanese aborigines cultures.

Portuguese sailors first named Taiwan “Formosa”, meaning “Beautiful Island”, and used the Island as a base for commerce with Japan and along the coast of China. Spanish and Dutch both built settlements as they controlled the land. However, Taiwan was not regarded as part of China until the Qing Dynasty, and even The Kangxi Emperor expressed that Taiwan was”the size of a pellet; taking it is no gain; not taking it is no loss.”  Under the Qing Dynasty rule, Taiwan continuously invaded by foreign forces, including England and French. Due to losing the Sino-Japanese War, the Qing empire ceded Taiwan to Japan from 1895 to 1945, until Japan’s defeat in the WWII. After WWII, the Chinese Civil War led Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China government fled to Taiwan and established R.O.C. capital in Taipei city.

New inventions:

1.Japanification – Japanese culture in Taiwan

During the Japanese rule period, Taiwanese were required to learn Japanese and fellow Japanese life style; this movement is so called ”Japanification.“ Today, the term Japanification refers to “the tribe that adores Japan.” In fact, due to Japanese expansion in China, anti-Japanese sentiment is much more stronger in mainland China and Korea than in Taiwan. With the proliferation of Japanese animations and comics, people who are crazy for Japanese pop culture are scattered every quarter of the world.

If one would travel to Taiwan, one would be astounded that Japanification has infused in the general public’s daily life. Some Japanese words have remained in common day use, including “yijibang”(means “the best”), “Biandang’(means “boxed lunch”) and “Oubasang”(means “auntie”). Taiwan’s famous entertainment “hot spring” preserves Japanese hot spring style; Taiwanese tea house is influenced by Japan’s tea ceremony; Japanese dietary custom could be found in Taiwanese daily life. One could easily find a Kantochiho style soup, Japanese cold noodle and diverse Japanese snacks in the convenient store and common supermarket. Moreover, Taiwanese polite and obedient nature shows some similarity with Japanese.

taipei hotspring-01

Taiwanese highly open to Japanese culture and product reflects that under the Japan rule period, Japanese’s organized and neat government gained certain respect among Taiwanese, and in contrast, in the begin of the R.O.C. government rule, armies and authorities were too chaotic and corrupted, which result in many Taiwanese ‘s affection to Japanese culture.

2.Democracy – American culture in Taiwan

After WWII, Taiwan became one of the military bases of America in Asia. Due to the instability of politics as well as economics, Washington not only guaranteed the safety of Taiwan from mainland China’s attack, but America also funded Taiwanese government billions of dollars to maintain the stable economy and support the transformation of government from central power authority to democracy. The assistance was not simply a short period of time. From Chang Kei-shek’s rule to present days, America always played a role that pushes Taiwan turn into a country of freedom, democracy and equality by importing American pop culture, including music, movies, life styles. The American pop culture was also imported into Taiwan by selling the lastest weapons and accepting Taiwanese students to study in the States.

However, America’s advocation toward Taiwanese democratic progress was not fully without hesitation, it has to carefully consider the relationship with the new emerged strong force in the world -China. As one looking into history, America only encourages Taiwan to maintain peaceful and interactive relationship with China, and against Taiwanese legibility(justificatory) of independence. Since Taiwan highly adopted western culture, its culture bears the Confucius philosophy and western individualism, which increased the complexity of the culture itself but benefit the country in the facets of economy.


Undoubtedly, coffee has been integrated into the Taiwanese culture, and Taipei, the capital city in Taiwan, might has the best coffee culture in Asia. In 2012, Taipei has been nominated in the world’s top10 best coffee cities and has more than one thousand coffee shop scattered in the city. Originated in Europe, the plantation of coffee bean could be traced back to 1884 by English merchants, but coffee culture in Taiwan first seeded  by Japanese, they allowed private coffee shops and viewed it as the symbol of modernization. In 1939, there were thirty five registered coffee shops in Taipei. Under the R.O.C. government’s rule, coffee shops has been blended with the traditional Chinese tea culture as well as a place that fulled of elites, writers, politicians, revolutionists, merchants. As Taiwanese culture relatively welcome novel objects, foreign culture could be easily accepted by the public. Today, different types of coffee shops have been rooted in Taipei city, including coffee shops mixed with restaurant, art gallery, convenient store, computer lounge, book store. Theme coffee shops, which provide customers with comfortable environments, characterized interior design and internet, are dotted around small streets and drawn the beautiful landscape in the city.

According to the Custom administration Ministry of Finance in Taiwan, Taiwanese drank up 1.79 billion cups of coffee in 2010, meaning approximately 78 cups per capita in one year. Coffee as a drink in Taiwan, is not only a foreign product, but also merged and modified with the local culture, becoming everyday’s commodity in people’s life.

taopei coffee-01


The Brief immigration History of New York City

New York is like the Union Nation, full with New York was first found by the Dutch settler of New Amsterdam. In 1624, Walloons from the Netherlands arrived in New Amsterdam. In 1790, there were English, Dutch, Scottish, Irish, German, French and Welsh population as well. Between 1815 and 1915, over 33 million immigrants came to the United states, and three quarters of these immigrants passed through the port of New York City.  Ellis Island and Castle Garden became the chief immigration center.

Immigrants lives were dangerous, they had to fight for jobs and live in the level of poverty. Also, because there were so many immigrants in New York, the demand of labors had been drawn down as well as wages.  Among the immigrants, Irish and Italian people were poorer than German and Jewish people, and German and Jewish people mostly brought a modest amount of capital to the New land and had and with knowledge of craft. The latest flu of immigrants are Hispanic and Mexican people. Chinese started to move to the America in the 19th century. In recent years, Chinese immigrants sharply grow in every state of America.

During every stage of New York history, the old immigrants who became American feared that the new comer would unable to assimilate into American society and would contaminate their lineage and destruct the America. Nonetheless, immigrants are what made New York City a world city. The foreign culture, tradition and beliefs contributed to New York City the worldly nature.


In the past two hundred years, the center of the world shift from the Europe continent to the New world- the America.Western culture has been viewed as much more supreme to the eastern, and has dominated the modern societies and countries. The capitalism economic system turn over the whole world as well as gave way to promotion of western culture, and this trend would not pause in the future.

Meanwhile, with the arrival of the hidden dragon-China, its strong economic power and large number of emigration are changing the world’s economic and population landscape. Also, as China is powerful enough to against America, there will be wars between communism and democracy, western individualism and eastern Confucius collectivism. The time comes to a point that the westerners need to learn Chinese culture and try to appreciate it and deal with it, otherwise, they will live in the ivory tower and have weak immune system to the impact of Asia.

Undoubtedly, The development of internet, technology and quick pace of modern life accelerated culture integration, and it is not only an organic interactive activity as it was in the past anymore, instead, it is an important weapon that could prevent a nation or human-being from stop moving forward. How to promote and preserve the local tradition and assimilate foreign culture in the meanwhile is one of the most significant tasks in the future.

As Regarded to design, which definition is providing the solution of human problems, also have the responsibility to keep the balance between modern and tradition, the west and the oriental, just like shanghainese did under concession period, Hong Kong people did under the British control; Taiwanese did under the Japanese colonization. In other words, design is a cultural ambassador, it has to show its culture identity as well as solve problems that people may encounter in a daily base.


Culture integration is a recycling process. Modified Cheongsam is the demonstration of western fashion concept, but now it re-impacts and amazes westerner’s eyes by the exotic eastern aroma. Hong Kong’s Cha Chaan Teng and Taiwanese street food all bear the features of western dietary, but now have became a local attraction that drew foreigners to come. By understanding the need of novel things and taking adventure are parts of human nature, and by studying the history, one could gain a broaden perspective of culture and its evolution, becoming an observer or practicer of cultural integration without fear and reservation.


MM History Paper03


Due to the widely use of internet, the future of cultural integration and interaction will definitely increase in a unprecedented scale. This paper would focus on the future of the impact of cultural integration and interaction, discussing how old tradition be re-examined and how cultural and creative industry got high attention in the recent years, and also, what role would design play in the future. By looking into the ongoing human activities, we might foresee the vague future.



In the past, human didn’t understand the importance of culture, but they obeyed the existing convention for spiritual reasons, however, culture interaction happens for the need of new products. People didn’t realize or foresee that culture can also be viewed as products and generate wealth.



By discussing how immigration, modern technologies, war and economics have influenced people and their lives in terms of cultural integration and novel design, I concluded that cultural integration and interaction is not a natural phenomenon in the present paper. People’s attitude toward cultural integration is very conservative and sometimes even fear to have connection with other culture. However, in the future, when the speed of information dissemination is hundred times than now, people would be get used to experience and learn different culture. The most important is, as a global citizen we cannot live without each other in the aspect of economy.



The development of technology is extremely fast, but the transformation of culture is  slow. Though we have google translation, on-line dictionaries, smartphone…and so on, when two people with different culture meet each other, there are still a deep cultural barrier between them. In the end, neither language nor design could convey the deep culture experience, because culture is the idea and philosophy that engraves in people’s mind. Nevertheless, no one can deny that the scale of culture integration and interaction is phenomenally larger than it was in the past.


Cross cultural human resource and Global collaborations

The author Thomas L. Friendman gave evidences of how different nation and races collaborate with each other regardless cultural differences and how the state of art technology facilitated the world flattening process in his book “The World is Flat”. Though there are a lot of argument about the world is flat or not, it is true that people with diverse nationalities are much more tightly connect with each other than it was is the past, no matter they are consciously or unconsciously. The demand of Cross cultural human resource is considerably rising, especially when the economic center gradually shifted from the West to the Eest. In the future, every industry would need workers that could not only communicate with people from different section of the world, but could also understand how to manage a multicultural company; how to work with people in other countries. As a result, having international working experiences and communication skills would be vital in the future.




In the end of WWI, Asian countries successively experienced a lot of movements proposing by either governments or civilians, dedicating on the dissemination of Westernization. After westernization were globalization and multiculturalism. With the flow of Westernization and the concept of Global Villige, people found out that though the connection and interaction of the East and the West is not as difficult as past time anymore, their original culture and tradition are gradually replaced by modern life style and would possibly be wiped out soon. As a result, scholars started to re-evaluate their traditional culture and appeal for protection. In the past, human tried to abandon the old-fashioned burden and religious ceremony or convention, but now, human begin to traced back their tracks in the history of civilization and began to reform valuable tradition into the way that could be accepted by modern people. Multiculturalism filled into the niche in the late 20th century and was practiced by many countries in the 21st century. It values the histories of various races and cultural characteristics; it stands for rights of diverse groups; and more important, it respects the truth that the whole world is a gathering of different people, instead of asking everyone to identify with or agree with the majority. This idea created that best environment for people to retrospect their history and culture, and subsequently infuse fresh elements into the modern society. It is not exaggerated to describe Multiculturalism as a trend in the future, since Globalization is vanishing the cultural differences in the world, and most societies today are multi-ethnic instead of mono-ethnic.

As “tradition” were a relatively negative word in the modern history in Asia, and due to the westernization movement, there is a ongoing call for preserving the original culture in Asia’s different areas. However, aside from appreciating the tradition, merchants and the general public more concern about the benefit of Cultural and Creative Industries, including how they stimulate economical growth.


Cultural and Creative Industries

As I mentioned in the present paper, western countries, especially the America, has been exported their culture and life styles through imported popular music, movies, democracy, food to the eastern countries; and the Hollywood movie industry, western’s fashion industry, fast food industry had attained phenomenal success in the eastern world. This strategy not only generated a large amount of wealth, but has also shifted Easterner’s mind from against the western culture to open to it, and consequently proved that intangible culture has real value.

The West

The concept of transforming invisible but valuable culture into tangible wealth was fist practiced by the English government in 1997. British author John Howkins(1945-) uses the phrase “Creative economy” to describe this kind of industry , which suggests that “human activity is the ultimate economic resource and the industries of the twenty-first century will depend increasingly on the generation of knowledge through creativity and innovation.” Howkins’ statement perfectly forecasted the future of the developed countries .

In fact, Cultural and Creative Industries are not new fields, on the contrary, they exist from the remote past time. The current DCMS(Department of culture, Media and Sport) definition recognizes twelve creative sectors, down from fourteen in their 2001 document.

They are: Advertising, Architecture, Arts and antique markets, Crafts, Design, Fashion, Film, Video and Photography, Software, Computer Games and Electronic Publishing, Music and the Visual and Performing Arts, Publishing, Television, Radio. This list is adopted by a lot of nations. Though these industries are not new, they didn’t get high attention until recent decades among the developing countries and some developed countries. The reason is, after the Industrial Revolution, people were so amazed by the power of steam machine and other additional technologies, we had space race, arms race had technological race among nations in the history, and during these times, cultural tradition be regarded as relatively useless or not important.

The European countries like France, U.K., Italy, Germany, and Spain governments all make the endeavor on supporting Cultural and Creative Industries by setting down applicable policies, endowing fundings and formulate regulations for protecting the intellectual properties. Today, most european countries has governments ‘department specializing in ruling this field, and official launch event of The European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA) took place in 2012. This trend spread to the eastern world, and is highly adopted by some Asian countries and is still spreading in quickly.

According to Creative Economy Report 2010 of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD), the exports value of the Creative and Cultural Industries in the whole world have averagely assented 14 percents every year, from 2,67 billion in 2002 to 5,92 billion in 2008. Also, in China 2008, the creative product exports was 84.8 billion, which was the top in the world and occupied 20% market share; the rest was America, Germany, Hongkong.In the Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2008-2012, Price waterhouse Coopers(PwC) , China and Canada are top two countries that would experience sharply growth in the future.


The East



By observation and analysis, Asian’s cultural and Creative Industries tried to imitate and duplicate the successful examples in the western countries. One can not ignore that Chinese government has been cultivated in the field of cultural and creative industries in a strategic and effective way recent years.

Different from other countries which companies rely on the market mechanism to decide how to invest wealth and labour, China’s main proponent and sponsor for the Cultural and Creative Industries is the government department. The Chinese government raised this industry by holding the annually Cultural and Creative expedition and constructing huge Cultural and Creative Park in the designated cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengtu, Qingdao, Nangjing…and so on. These cities usually has it’s significant cultural history and location advantages that could attract tourists as well as small and large relavant entrepreneurs to move into the Cultural and Creative Park, and subsequently facilitate the progress of the industry by gathering all resource and creative workers together.  According to it’s growing speed and every year’s increasing profit, Cultural and Creative Industries would become a critical sector in the future of China. However, cultural industry is a long term industry, though the Chinese government listed this field in one of the most important industries, the market is not mature enough to produce high quality production. Supplement education and policies should be conducted in the future in order to enrich the content and quality of cultural and creative production.



Taiwan’s Cultural and Creative industries’ development started before China, so they have been viewed as a reference of China. Taiwan has some advantages in this industry, including a free and creative environment, multicultural surroundings, the transparency of information flow, the demand of creative activities in the public. The relavant policies are referred to the British policies, putting importance on raising creative workers, supporting related companies and held competition and awards, dedicating on exporting the products and collaborate with abroad organizations. The main center is in the capital city- Taipei, and other potencial cities will be turned into cultural center in the future. According to the Ministry of Culture, the anual growth rate of Cultual and Creative industry in Taiwan from 2002 to 2007 was 7.73%. However, the market share in Taiwan is too small, and it is hard to conduct large scale projects or constructing successful international brand, also, this industry is still a developing field, so the lack of management and financial experiences are obstacles in the future.

Aside from all the deficiencies, Taiwan has a predictable great future in this industry because it has some irreplaceable cultural uniquenesses. Taiwan is the only country that use the Traditional Chinese and practice Confucian ideas in the world, and its’ language and racial similarity with the Mainland China would help Taiwanese cultural and creative industries exports to China easily.


Why Cultural and Creative Industry is important in the future?

As cultural and creative Industry not only stimulate the economic, but also preserve indigenous culture, it is not as harmful and aggressive to the environment and culture as other industry does. Also, because these industries would precisely reflect the quality of the culture, so they encourage people to appreciate and respect history, and subsequently mitigate the high speed development of modern and future technology. Furthermore,  Culture and Creative Industry enrich the culture content and create new element in the culture.



Cross-cultural design

With the development of internet, the widespread of smart phone and the landing of interactive device, individual’s interaction between the East and the West has becoming more and more convenient and barrier free, and as a result, cross-cultural design arose attentions regarding the field of User Experience and Universal Design. large-scale entrepreneurs that are ambitious to develop the global market would need to research the difference consumer behavior between each culture, in order to be able to navigate from continent to continent.

Recently, design has not only been viewed as just a method to increase profit, but also been stressed as an effective tool to benefit the well-being of human-being, for example, eco-friendly design, social design and sustainable design. As a result, in the future, designer would have to work with specialists and scholars from different field.


Do we need designers anymore in the future?  

While we study the history, there are always a time when the core techniques or production template of a industry experiences large shifts, and certain group of employee would be dismissed because they are replaced by machine or the lastest tools. Same thing happens in the field of design. Adobe upgrades their application every year; website construction will be automatically built in the future; 3D printer is in the market now; 3D application will be easier to learn in the future than now. Also, since almost every field of design will provide designers with semi-products or templates like WordPress, everybody could become a designer. True Designers will still exist but their function and working process might change. In the future, every designer should become a think tank that spend less time on producing the design, but spend more time on creative thinking. Also, they should be able to effectively and wisely choose format and tools for work, and be able to comprehend various multimedia or the latest technology.



Contrasting to the technology, the growth of a culture is extremely slow, but culture is the irreplaceable soft strength that could be used as a supplement for spiritual deficiency in the modern world. In the process of cultural exchanging and integration, we need both Creative and Cultural Industries and Cross-cultural design . Creative and Cultural Industry  would play an important role of either protect or disseminate the indigenous cultural and tradition. Cross cultural design would keep globalize the world and let everyone on the same page. For designers and people who wants to succeed in the future, they should have a open-mind to either new things and old things, because the process of culture integration and interaction never stop.


One comment

  1. Patrick · March 18, 2013

    I know this is very long but it is a great basis for more understanding of the entire genre. This will help you become an expert is the area and is what is needed for you to properly create your thesis project. The next step is for you to see where this can go forward from here. A lot fo work but this is what is needed to create a thesis project. Good job.

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