A Joint Antique Exhibition in Xi'an Attracted Wide Public Attention

2017-10-20 09:46:52 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

A vase of Sassanid Persian Empire (224-651)

On October 17, an antique exhibition entitled “Silk Road Legacy Radiating from Chang’an” sponsored by Shaanxi Administration of Cultural Heritage and co-sponsored by Shaanxi History Museum opened at Shaanxi History Museum, at which the exhibits of a silver belt inscribed with immortal of West Regions, silk socks of Tang Dynasty, wine pot with images of Greek mythology and legend and one-thousand-year exquisite snacks attracted wide public attention. Antiques representing culture exchange between the East and the West along the Silk Road in Han (206 BC-220 AD) and Tang (618–907) Dynasties were displayed in the city of Chang’an (the present Xi’an) to attract visitors to the splendid journey of world civilization.

With full support from 12 museums in Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang, 140 antiques representing culture exchange between the East and the West in Han and Tang Dynasties have been specially prepared for this joint exhibition. The combination of antiques and photos of cultural heritages fully embodied that the city of Chang’an, as an eastern Metropolis of civilization in Han and Tang Dynasties, was not only the start of Han Dynasty Silk Road, but also the center of Tang Dynasty Silk Road, exerting considerable influence on the development of Eurasia. As clear evidence of international cultural exchanges along the Silk Road, these antiques showed the openness, integrity and the leading position of Chang’an in Han and Tang Dynasties.

The exhibition was divided into 4 parts with varied themes below: the development of West Regions by Han Dynasty Government after the open of the Silk Road and the integration of farming civilization and nomadic civilization; the introduction of Buddhism to China in Northern and Southern Dynasties (420–589) to form the religious belief system in Tang Dynasty and the splendid Buddhist art in line with Chinese aesthetic ideal; the creation of the leading world civilization based on the integration of foreign and Chinese civilization in Chang’an through the Maritime Silk Road, the capital city of Tang Dynasty and the spread of it worldwide through the Silk Road; and the substantial influence of foreign civilization brought through the Silk Road.

Most of the exhibits on display indicated the integration of western and eastern culture. The vase of Sassanid Persian Empire collected at Guyuan Museum in Ningxia was unearthed from Li Xian couple tomb of Northern Zhou Dynasty (557–581) located in Yuanzhou District, Guyuan City in Ningxia. On the single handle of the gilt silver vase there is a head portrait of a northern tribesman and on the vase is decorated with relief characters showing the famous ancient Greek mythology of the “Judgment of Paris” and “Troy War”. This kind of silverware was used as wine vessels by the noble of Sassanid Persian Empire, while the one on show was made in Bactria in Central Asia, which represented the integration of cultures along the Silk Road. A pair of silk socks with elaborately fretted border collected by Qinghai Province Museum was unearthed from Reshui Tombs in Junlan County, Xizhou of Qinghai. Plenty of silk fabric and antiques unearthed from the tombs proved that Qinghai section of the Silk Road was a key linkage and trade hub from the late Northern and Southern Dynasties to the middle of Tang Dynasty. In addition, the well-preserved and delicate pastry of Tang Dynasty collected by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum attracted wide public attention, representing food culture exchanges between central China and Western Regions through the Silk Road.

The joint exhibition aims to promote museum development through exchange and cooperation and the integration of collection resources among museums in the five northwestern provinces and region. At the opening ceremony, Shaanxi History Museum concluded Cooperation Consensus on Museum Exhibition in the Five Northwestern Provinces and Region with Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang. In the future, these museums will integrate and share resources to organize theme exhibitions; hold annual symposium on the basis of academic research through exhibition platforms; establish cultural and creative products to bring exhibition and education functions into full play; and build digital display platform to promote widespread coverage. Under the initiative of Shaanxi History Museum, 22 units in the 5 northwestern provinces and region attended the “Silk Road Legacy Radiating from Chang’an” Exhibition Forum, holding extensive communication and exchange under the theme of “integrating collection resources and strengthening cooperative exhibition”.

According to the press, the admittance free “Silk Road Legacy Radiating from Chang’an” is on exhibition at the Fifth Exhibition Hall of Shaanxi History Museum till January 17, 2018.

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