Ancient art's new life

【Culture】Time:2024-01-22      Source:China Daily      Views:1423

The bronze statue uncovered in 2021 at the Sanxingdui site. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The public can learn about Chinese history this year through Shanghai Museum's forthcoming satellite venue and special exhibitions, Wang Xin reports.

Shanghai Museum is revving up for an eventful year, with the forthcoming opening of its new eastern campus in Pudong New Area, and 18 high-profile special exhibitions it will stage at home and abroad.

Its massive collection of over a million items related to ancient Chinese art is considered the most comprehensive in the world.

Spanning about 46,000 square meters and featuring a display area of 33,600 square meters, the new Shanghai Museum East will have 20 galleries, interactive spaces as well as shopping and dining options.

" (It) will put on the most comprehensive display of ancient Chinese art. We will also highlight the characteristics of Jiangnan and Shanghai cultures with exhibitions," says Chu Xiaobo, director of Shanghai Museum.

"We expect the new venue will become a critical cultural window for the world to learn more about China."

The gold mask uncovered in 2021 at the Sanxingdui archaeological site, which is located in Guanghan, Sichuan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Bronze shines bright

A section of the new campus showcasing ancient Chinese bronze works will open on Feb 2.

The gallery will feature over 500 pieces of bronze ware that illustrate the development and evolution of the medium over 3,600 years, from the late Xia Dynasty (c. 21st century-16th century BC) to the middle of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The new wing will host a special exhibition about the 3,000-year-old Sanxingdui culture that runs until May 20. It will be the largest and most high-profile showcase of Sanxingdui artifacts outside of Sichuan province, where the ancient culture's archaeological site is located. Some of the 363 artifacts on show were restored by Shanghai Museum and will be on show for the first time.

Shanghai Museum East will also host a digital art exhibition themed on Sanxingdui to offer immersive and interactive experiences to learn about the archaeological excavation cabins used at the Sanxingdui site.

Chu points out that the construction of Shanghai Museum East, which started in September 2017, will be sped up so that it will be fully completed by 2024. The new wing is expected to open to the public in three phases, with the first being the ancient Chinese bronze gallery.

The second will be open before the end of June. The launch of the final phase, which involves the opening of the painting and calligraphy galleries, is expected to take place by the end of November.