Thursday, January 19, 2012

China 2011 - Day 1: Shanghai Museum

Immediately after I settled down at the youth hostel, I went to visit Shanghai Museum, which is just 10 minutes walk away from the hostel.

Shanghai Museum is the top 3 museums in China, and claims one of the best collection of Chinese antiques.  It is new building right in the center of People's Park, is of the shape of a Chinese Ding 鼎, an ancient container for food, and the subsequently, became the symbol of imperial power.   Here below you can see a small one, just to give you some idea of what it is.  This is also an exhibit at the Shanghai Museum.

The museum has a total of 6 stories, and divided into many galleries, based on theme, including Chinese bronzeware, jade, Chinese calligraphy, paintings, etc.  If you are an antique, then you can spend the whole day in it.  

 Of the many wonderful artifacts, visitors' attentions were drawn to this particular Buddha's statue.  All 3 photographs are of the same statue, but from left, front and right.  From different angle, the Buddha image looks different, although maybe just slightly.  Our ancestors were great craft men who created such wonderful piece of work.  To tell you the truth:  Why did our ancestors can do it?  They didn't have TV nor Internet :)

In the Chinese calligraphy gallery, you can have the honour to admire great works from famous Chinese literals such as Dong Qichang 董其昌, Su Dongpo 苏东坡.

Chinese love jade.  A fine Chinese should have the same qualities as jade, which are仁,义,智,勇,洁.

And do you find this artifact look very familiar?

A similar artifact is on display at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands Arts Museum (You can find the previous post here).  That bowl was found in a merchant shipwreck off Indonesia, carrying many Chinese goods probably on its way to the Middle East.

Shanghai Museum is such a great place to spend a whole day, exchanging ideas with many great minds in the past.  In addition, admission is free!

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