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LETTING GO AND MOVING ON BY JAMES OH

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MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR

MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR
BY JAMES OH

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Below is the short briefing of 


The Terracotta Warriors: Forbidding Sentinels of a Death Defying Emperor




















The Terracotta Warriors represent only a small portion of the eight thousand
strong underground army buried in front of the Emperor Qinshihuang's tomb
(r. 221-207 BC) to defend him in the afterlife. The craftsmanship attested by
each of the statues is as stupendous as the scale of the project. So who was
the Emperor Qinshihuang to merit such magnificence?


One of the most important rulers in Chinese history, this Emperor leaves a
legacy as morally complicated as that of Peter the Great. For, like the Russian
Tsar, he is as well-known for his contributions to the modern state as he is for
sacrificing the lives of thousands of laborers to his visionary projects. Made
King of the state of Qin at the age of thirteen, by the time he was thirty-eight
he conquered the six neighboring states to unify China for the first time.


Although reviled for his tyranny, Qinshihuangdi is also admired for many radical
and insightful policies which subsequent dynasties employed. To synthesize
seven separate states into one nation, he standardized a common script and
established uniform measurement and monetary systems. For effective
government, he codified a legal system and replaced hereditary rulers with a
centrally appointed administrative system. To improve industrial productivity he
encouraged agricultural reforms and constructed many roads. And in an effort to
limit the inroads of barbarian tribes, he supervised the construction of a defence
fortification along the northern frontier, the first Great Wall. Although China
benefited from these policies, thousands of Chinese workers died in completing
this far-reaching public works program.
700,000 forced laborers were sacrificed to construct his tomb which was begun
as soon as he ascended the throne. All workers and childless concubines were
interred with him to safeguard its secrets. According to Sima Qian's "The Historical
Records" written a century later, heaven and earth are represented in the tomb's
central chamber. The ceiling, inlaid with pearls, represents the starry heavens.
The floor, made of stone, forms a map of the Chinese kingdom; a hundred rivers of
mercury flow across it. And all manner of treasure is protected by deadly booby-
traps.


The main tomb has still to be excavated - partly because archaeologists are still
uncertain of its exact location. Often Emperors amassed huge burial mounds simply
to divert robbers' attention from the true site of their tomb. So the artificial mound
that today marks the Emperor's tomb does not necessarily indicate the location of its
wondrous central chamber. However, because high mercury levels have recently
been reported nearby, archaeologists think they may, at last, have discovered it.
The Terracotta Warriors, that you will see today, form just one of the many barriers
the ruthless Emperor employed to protect his tomb for eternity.


The limestone and marble Kouroi and Kourai of the Greek Late Archaic Period
(535-480 BCE) refute the claim that the Terracotta Warriors were the first
free-standing statues in the history of world art. This, though, does little to
undermine the ingenuity of the Terracotta Warriors' design and manufacturing
process. For whereas the Ancient Greeks meticulously carved individual statues
out of stone, the Qin dynasty project held all the problems of production on a mass
scale. Tens of thousands of individual human and animal statues were
manufactured within a series of processes that began with the molding of solid
legs.


It was by constructing each of the hollow statues upon solid legs that the Ancient
Chinese craftsemen solved the perplexing problem of how to make a statue
free-standing. Hollow heads, arms and legs, made of coiled earth, were joined
together with strips of clay and set upon the solid legs. After this rough model was
assembled, a fine clay slip was added, and details such as eyes, mouth, nose and
details of dress were carved into the clay while it was still pliable. Additional pieces such as ears, beard and armour were modeled separately and attached, after which the whole
figure was fired at a high temperature.









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