The Shanxi Bronze Museum, the first provincial-level bronzeware museum in China, opened to the public on Saturday in north China's Shanxi Province. It showcased more than 2,200 pieces of bronzeware relics throughout the history of Bronze Age (3300BC-1200BC). Among them, about 700 exhibits were retrieved by the Public Security organizations in recent years.
A visitor look at the interactive screen in the Shanxi Bronze Museum. (Photo: VCG)
The retrieved collection include the Jingongpan, or the plate of Duke Wen of Jin, and Yizun, a bronze cup in Western Zhou dynasty (1046BC-771BC). Jingongpan, the bronze plate with many embossings and sculptured animals which can rotate 360 degrees, representing the highest level of bronzeware making skills in the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC/403BC).
Many local residents queued all morning to see this newly-opened exhibition in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi. Li Suzhen was there with her eight-year-old daughter Zhang Bojing. Li said, "We lined up from eight o'clock in the morning. I just want my child to know more about the Chinese bronze culture, and the wisdom of the ancient people."
The collection from the Shanxi Bronze Museum is based on the bronzewares found in local Shanxi Province. Covering an area of 11,000 square meters, the whole exhibition is composed of five parts: Basic exhibitions, educational interaction, digital bronzeware, temporary show, and cultural and creative space.
The major exhibition is divided into three sections: "Foundations of Chinese Civilization", "World of Rites and Music" and "Models of Bronze Ware Craftsmanship." Through various relics in the local cultural sites, the first section tells how the special status of Shanxi Province served in the formation and development of Chinese civilization. In "World of Rites and Music," the ancient rituals about bronze wares are explained, together with the uniqueness of Chinese bronze ware. The third section showcased the advanced skills of bronzeware making, and the characteristics of the models and relevant decoration arts.
"To build a museum themed with bronze culture at a province level, this is the first time," said Lei Jianguo, the director of Shanxi Culture Relics Bureau.
Sun Qingwei, the dean of School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University, said the Bronze Age in China had a long span, and it was also a core phase among the development of the Chinese civilization. Through the Museum, people can have a comprehensive view of the ancient bronze civilization, culture, and art forms in China.
A Chinese bronzeware protection and study center was also co-founded by the museum, together with School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University, Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Collage of History and Culture, Shanxi University, for the protection, study and exhibition of Chinese bronzewares.