From Eastern Han to High Tang : A Journey of Transculturation
T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art,
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
14 March 2005 - 10 June 2005
At the end of the Eastern Han in A.D. 220 there emerged a number of political leaders, and the state of fragmentation into which China was plunged lasted for nearly 400 years. It was not until the late 6th century that China was re-unified under the Sui dynasty. Political disarray did not, however, impede cultural developments. The arrival of non-Chinese ethnic peoples and the transmission of foreign religions, technologies and cultural artefacts into China were potent forces in bringing about changes and innovation in the arts and culture. The period of the Three Kingdoms, the Jin dynasty and the period of the Southern and Northern dynasties were a time when China was receptive to many foreign influences, particularly from Central and Western Asia, this all-embracing ethos culminating in the glorious Tang dynasty.
To explore the artistic and cultural changes that took place in China in this period, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage has assembled some 300 cultural relics from 46 cultural institutions in 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, many of them important national treasures. The relics include gold and silver ware, glass ware, burial figures in pottery and wood, Buddhist sculpture, wall paintings and textiles, the latter two rarely seen in exhibitions. Through these objects it is possible to examine the immensely rich cultural heritage of the period in a concrete way.
Prior to their showing in Hong Kong, the relics were displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and attracted much attention from artistic circle and the general public. With the support of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, this fascinating exhibition is being staged at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from March to June 2005.