Hainan Museum unveils exhibition featuring Song Dynasty poet Su Shi

2024-01-30 09:06:16Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Su Shi-Themed Cultural Relics Exhibition, centered around the renowned poet and calligrapher Su Shi of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), is set to open its doors to the public on February 1 in South China's Hainan Province, where Su once stayed for three years.

Set to run until April 30, the exhibition, spanning four halls with a total area of 2,600 square meters, will showcase 332 of Su Shi-themed artifacts.

The exhibition features 21 artifacts from the Palace Museum's collection. Notable items include 12 calligraphy works, three paintings, two steles, and four personal items, according to Wang Zhe, deputy researcher at the Palace Museum's calligraphy and painting department.

Notably, the exhibition boasts five first-tier artifacts, including original calligraphy works by the four greatest calligraphers in the Northern Song Dynasty.

"Firstly, it marks the first collective display of authentic works by Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Mi Fu, and Cai Xiang from the Palace Museum's collection. Secondly, it presents the first-ever exhibition of Mi Fu's Dao Lin Tie and Huang Tingjian's Wei Qing Dao Ren Tie," Wang noted.

Wang also emphasized the richness and diversity of the exhibition, which provides insight into Su's artistic achievements and experiences during his three years in Danzhou, a city administered by Hainan.

To enhance interactivity and entertainment during the exhibition, the Hainan Museum will host a market featuring Su Shi to recreate the refined lifestyle of the Song Dynasty.

The market will host a variety of activities, including the sale of creative products from the Palace Museum, the Hainan Museum, and San Su Ci, the memorial temple and former residence of Su Xun and his two sons Su Shi and Su Zhe, as well as culinary experiences.

The cultural activity area will showcase burning incense, brewing tea, hanging paintings and arranging flowers, which are known as the "four leisure activities of the Song Dynasty," live demonstrations of New Year calligraphy, and a display of the intangible cultural heritage known as Dongpo hat weaving. Dongpo was Su Shi's literary name.

The entertainment area will feature performances of Song Dynasty activities such as cuju, an ancient Chinese football sport enjoyed by ordinary people as far back as 2,400 years ago.

As a complementary event to the exhibition, a lecture on Su Shi by Ren Wanping, deputy director of the Palace Museum, will commence on February 1 at the Hainan Museum.

Following Ren's lecture, numerous domestic and international experts and scholars are expected to give lectures about China's traditional culture and Su Shi.

Su Shi is one of the most important cultural figures in Chinese history. He was an esteemed scholar, poet, prose-writer, painter, calligrapher, and statesman.

In 2000, the French newspaper Le Monde named him one of the world's 12 heroes who lived around the year 1000. He was the only Chinese on the list.

The exhibition is jointly organized by the Palace Museum and the Hainan Provincial Department of Culture, Radio, Film, Television, Publications and Sports. The Hainan Museum is responsible for hosting the event, with the collaboration of 59 cultural and museum units nationwide.

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