The Museum of Islamic Art revealed its striking new exhibition, “Treasures of China” last night. The exhibition will run from September 7, 2016 to January 7, 2017.
Under the patronage of Qatar Museums’ Chairperson, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, visitors will get to see treasures from China’s legendary civilization and meet the terracotta soldiers who guarded a hidden underground empire.
Terracotta Warriors, first time in the Middle East
The world-famous Terracotta Warriors from the First Emperor’s Terracotta Army are on show as part of the exhibition, which provides visitors with an extra special experience taking them back in time to explore the glorious history and heritage of China spanning five thousand years.
“The Terracotta Warriors have been to many countries around the world but this is the first time they have come to the Middle East,” said Xu He, Curator of Art Exhibitions China.
The Terracotta Warriors have an extremely high artistic value in China’s art history. Every detail of the sculptures was modeled after the real life people, including height, proportion and facial features. They are very life-like in appearance and are sculpted very elaborately.
Different features of the Exhibit
The exhibition is divided into three parts, the first is “The Birth of Civilisation, Ceremonies and Kingdoms”, the second is “Splendid Unification, Prosperity and the Silk Road” and the third and last part is “Porcelain, Imperial China and the Royal Arts.” These are the most major historical periods of ancient China.
Treasures made out of pottery, bronze, jade, porcelain, gold, silver, enamel and many other materials are currently being featured as part of the exhibit, selected from five museums and heritage institutions from across China.
The exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate, embrace and discover the profundity and richness of Chinese culture and traditions from a number of perspectives.
Far East meets Middle East
The Silk Road was one of the most prominent channels of communication between China and other parts of the world. Some of these include India, Pakistan, Hungary, Turkey, and even Egypt.
“There are two silk roads one is the desert silk road and the other is the maritime silk road. The desert silk road was during the 10th century,” said He, which is where art related to camels and horses were inspired. “The Maritime one became the main trading route for communication in the 18th to 19th century,” she added.
Some of the pieces draw inspiration from Islamic and Arabian art, mostly from the third part of the exhibit as it showed the strongest connection to Islamic art, with sculptures of camels, and blue and white porcelain (prominent color scheme of Islamic art) with Arabic calligraphy.
“Islamic art influenced Chinese art’s blue and white patterns and designs in a very large way,” said He.
Qatar - China 2016 Year of Culture
The new Treasures of China Exhibit is just another accolade towards the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture. Particularly following the enormous success of internationally acclaimed New York based Chinese artist Cai Guo Qiang’s ‘What about the Art? Contemporary Art from China’ exhibition, and the ‘Silks from the Silk Road’ exhibition.
The Years of Culture program is a landmark initiative of exhibitions, festivals, competitions and events, developed to deepen understanding between nations and their people through mutual exchanges of arts, culture, heritage and sport.
Image source: Qatareating.com
The Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) 2016 also followed a Chinese theme, with decoration and performances reminiscent of the Chinese culture, and also featured many stalls dedicated to the Chinese cuisine.
Alongside the exhibition, there will be a series of educational programs and workshops on offer for students, families and schools to enjoy.
In November, MIA will hold a four-part workshop, where children can create clay sculptures inspired by the Treasures of China exhibition, learning to use clay tools whilst sculpting miniature flowers and other decorations.
Other workshops will also be held during the duration of the exhibition, where school children will sculpt soldiers out of clay, inspired by the famous Terracotta Army and learn about the Terracotta Army, its history and purpose, which of course further bridges the connection between Qatar and China and contributes towards their Year of Culture.
For more information on the exhibition and upcoming activities, please visit: https://www.qm.org.qa/en/treasures-of-china
For more information on the Qatar China Year of Culture and upcoming activities, please visit: http://yearsofculture.qa/en/
Do you have plans to visit the exhibit any time soon? Have you already visited it? What did you think? Comment below!
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