Monday, May 11, 2009

National Palace Museum

Here is an intriguing piece on the National Palace Museum(國立故宮博物院)in Taipei. If you ever get a chance to visit, you should definitely go. The museum, which counts the Louvre and the British Museum in London as peer institutions, houses the world's finest collection of Chinese cultural artifacts, including jades, bronzes, ceramics, paintings, ancient books and documents, and calligraphy scrolls. Fortunately, the collection was saved from the Japanese during WWII and then from the ravages of the Cultural Revolution in later years on the Mainland.

The museum itself is also a wonderful place. It is situated against an idyllic, forested mountain backdrop, and the building follows the style of classical Chinese architecure. Upon entry, visitors step into a calm, tranquil atmosphere charged with the beauty and grandeur of China's 5000 years of civilization. Much care and deliberation was put into the displays that showcase the ingenious, the intricate, the intellectual, the innovative. I remember that as I walked through each display, somehow the past became much more real -- I gained a palpable sense of connection with our history and traditions. Wandering through the exhibits, one feels wonder and amazement, and an immense pride that this is our culture.

National Palace Museum official Zhuang Yan reviews art from the collection, in Taipei in 1948. (Courtesy of the Zhuang family via AP)

Full article available here.

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