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Tang Shipwreck

The Khoo Teck Puat Gallery is the new permanent home for the famous 9th-century cargo recovered from the Java Sea southeast of Singapore. The gallery tells the story of exchange of goods, ideas, and culture in the region around Singapore more than 1,100 years ago. Discovered in 1998, the shipwreck has revolutionized the way we see the world in the 9th century. Impressive ceramics, along with gold and silver objects of great value and beauty, tell of the active trade between China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, Africa and South East Asia during the period.

The Tang Shipwreck was acquired through a generous donation from the Estate of Khoo Teck Puat in honour of the late Khoo Teck Puat.

About the Tang Shipwreck

In 1998, a shipwreck was discovered off Belitung Island in the Java Sea. It contained a remarkable cargo of more than 60,000 ceramics produced in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907), as well as luxurious objects of gold and silver. Bound for Iran and Iraq, the ship provides early proof for strong commercial links between China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

The Tang Shipwreck reveals that Singapore’s South-east Asian region lay at the heart of a global trading network in the 9th century. The success of Singapore as an exchange point of global shipping thus has ancient roots. The beautiful objects of exceptional rarity testify to the ingenuity of artists and merchants, and show that exotic objects have long been appreciated by the world’s consumers.

Changsha Bowls

Changsha bowls
China, Hunan province, around 830s
Stoneware, diameters all around 16 cm


Octagonal cup with musicians and a dancer

Octagonal cup with musicians and a dancer
China, around 830s
Gold, height 9 cm


Ewer

Ewer
China, probably Gongxian kilns, around 830s 
Stoneware, height 104 cm


Blue-and-white dish

Blue-and-white dish
China, Gongxian kilns, around 830s
Stoneware, diameter 23 cm

 

Panel Text Translations

Chinese

Malay

Tamil