Treasures of Ancient China

Treasures of Ancient China

New Delhi: The Minister of Culture, Kumari Selja here today inaugurated an exhibition “Treasures of Ancient China” in the presence of H.E. Zhang Yan, Chinese Ambassador to India and the senior officials and members of State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and Art Exhibitions China. Speaking on the occasion Kumari Selja said the Cultural exchanges between the two nations, so rooted in history, now fructifies through the art exhibitions. She said such joint ventures help strengthen and grow the bond of affection between people of our countries. She said, we are readying with the second exhibition on Tagore paintings and Secretary Culture, Govt. of India and Ambassador of China to India will work out details in this regard.
The year 2006 was declared “Indo-China Friendship Year”. As a significant component of the yearlong celebration in this context, an exhibition on “Treasures of Ancient India” was organized in 2006-07 at four venues in China-Beijing, Zhengzhou, Chongqing and Guangzhou. One hundred exquisite Indian art objects ranging from 3rd century BC to 18th Century AD, representing Hindu, Buddhist and Jain pantheons and made in stone, metal, ceramics etc. were mounted on display to present a microcosmic view of Indian art and culture.
In reciprocation thereof, an exhibition on “Treasures of Ancient China” is being organized in 2011 in India.
The exhibition has been organized by Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and Art Exhibitions China as its executing agency. Ninety-five Chinese artefacts will be showcased representing Chinese culture from the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC) to the Qing dynastic period and made in different art media like stone, metal, jade, porcelain, ceramics, etc. A catalogue on the exhibits with their photograph and short description in three languages (English, Hindi and Chinese) has been published. In addition a brochure on the exhibition has also been brought out delineating history of Indo-China cultural interaction and the significance of major categories of Chinese antiquities. Chief attractions of the exhibition are the bronzes, jade objects, sculptures, porcelain, gold objects, etc. The terracotta warriors and the tri-coloured pottery, which are distinguishing objects of Chinese art, add special charm to this exhibition.
Since last two millenniums, India and China, located across the towering Himalayas, have interacted mutually and together have influenced Asia and even the world making outstanding contribution in the field of art and culture. The ancient silk route and the introduction of Buddhism from India to China were some important connections triggering landmark development in mutualism. The traders and monks of one country have always moved to the other country. Fa-Hien (4th century AD), Hiuen Tsang (7th century AD) and I-Tsang (10th century AD) are some important Chinese travellers to India whose travel accounts form important basic source materials for Indian history. Indian monks Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaraksha went to China in 68 AD on white horses carrying Buddhist scriptures and established the first Buddhist temple in China namely the White Horse Temple at Luoyang, then China’s Capital.
The present exhibition is aimed at refreshing the cultural dialogues and thereby strengthening the friendship between the two great republics of Asia by establishing people to people contact.
The exhibition currently on display at the National Museum, New Delhi till 20th March 2011 will also travel to three other venues in India as per the following schedule:
a) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai from 7th April to 6th June, 2011;
b) Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad from 23rd June to 22nd August, 2011; and
c) National Library, Kolkata from 8th September to 7th November, 2011.

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