The exhibition ‘Treasures of China’ featuring several Chinese artefacts including the first display in the Middle East of the renowned terracotta warriors, opens on Wednesday at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
Five pieces from the First Emperor’s Terracotta Army, older than more than 2000 years and dating back to Qin Dynasty in 221-206BC, are among the highlights of the exhibition that runs until January 7, 2017.
There are more than 8,000 terracotta warriors excavated in China so far. The pieces on show at MIA are the sculptors of a general, two soldiers, a shooter and a horse.
Held under the patronage of Qatar Museums’ chairperson, HE Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and as part of Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture, the exhibition features 116 art pieces with some of them dating back to the Neolithic Age.
Visitors will get the chance to see treasures from China’s legendary civilisation and meet the terracotta soldiers who guarded a hidden underground empire, transporting visitors on a unique journey back in time to explore the glorious history and heritage of China, spanning 5,000 years. Several of the exhibits also portray a link between the Arab world and China with some of the art pieces displaying some Arabic words or music instruments.
Exhibited at MIA’s Special Exhibitions Gallery, the exhibition is divided into three parts: “The Birth of Civilisation, Ceremonies and Kingdoms”, “Splendid Unification, Prosperity and the Silk Road” and “Porcelain, Imperial China and the Royal Arts”. It involves all major historical periods of ancient China and displays 116 pieces dating from the Neolithic period to the Qing Dynasty, taking audiences through China’s past.
Mansoor bin Ebrahim al-Mahmoud, acting CEO, Qatar Museums said the unique exhibition perfectly expresses the aims and ambitions of the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture in promoting mutual understanding between the countries.
"We hope that visitors will truly enjoy Treasures of China and leave with a deeper understanding that whilst Qatar and China are two countries that may be far apart, they have more in common than they realise, including shared values based on education, hospitality and cultural curiosity, strong economic ties and positive diplomatic relations that date back to the 1980s.”
Vivid pottery, bronzes, jades, porcelain, gold, silver, enamel and many other exquisite Chinese treasures are on show, selected from five museums and heritage institutions from across China, providing the ideal showcase for Chinese creativity and craftsmanship. Aimed at reflecting the integration between the cultures of the East and the West, 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.
In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be a series of educational programmes and workshops for students, families and schools to enjoy. In November, MIA will hold a four-part workshop, where children will create clay sculptures inspired by the Treasures of China exhibition, learning to use clay tools whilst sculpting miniature flowers and other decorations
Following the 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, Treasures of China is another major highlight of the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture.
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