Immortal Mortals: Treasures of Ancient Shu State
Dates: March 25 - Oct 18, 2019
Location: Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali, Rome, Italy
Organized by: Sanxingdui Museum, Jinsha Site Museum, Sichuan Museum, Chengdu Museum, Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, Chengdu Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, Qiang Museum of Maoxian County, and Mianyang Museum
Sichuan province, situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, is one of the cradles of ancient Chinese civilization. Since the 1980s, a string of key archaeological discoveries, including the Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites, have helped the world understand more about the ancient civilization found in this mysterious land in southwestern China, once known as the Shu state.
The itinerant exhibition, titled "Immortal Mortals: Treasures of Ancient Shu State", has been curated to showcase the extraordinary artistic imagination and creativity of Chinese ancestors dwelling in Sichuan. Its first stop was in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples, and the second in the Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali, Rome.
Presented to the Italian audience were 145 sets of treasures selected from eight prestigious cultural institutions in Sichuan province -of which 28 were categorized a first-class cultural relics.
They spanned nearly two millennia from about 1600 BC (the Shang Dynasty) to 220 AD (the Han Dynasty) and covered a wide range of types and materials. Although the items played different roles in ancient life, they carry the code of civilization from remote antiquity, be they resplendent gold ware, massive and enigmatic bronze sculptures, jade ware smooth and soft to the touch, lacquer ware with sophisticated carved patterns, vivid pottery figures, or pictorial bricks depicted with everyday activities and rituals.
As the most influential, the most unique, and the most artistic cultural relics, they speak of the ancient Shu dwellers' ideology of cohabitation with gods and nature, and capture their optimistic, inclusive, and innovative spirit.
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