All-em­brac­ing Mu­se­ums

Trans­lated by Wang Wei, Zhou Fu­jing Edited by David Ball, Justin Davis

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

There are many fas­ci­nat­ing mu­se­ums in China’s cap­i­tal city. They cover themes such as his­tory, as­tron­omy, cul­ture, art and many other top­ics. Hol­i­day pe­ri­ods are a great time to visit these trea­sures and en­joy a cap­ti­vat­ing, ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney based on var­i­ous themes. An over­view of some of the most ap­peal­ing mu­se­ums is pro­vided in this help­ful piece.

Bei­jing fea­tures a va­ri­ety of mu­se­ums, cov­er­ing more than 10 dif­fer­ent sub­jects, such as his­tory, mil­i­tary, as­tron­omy, aero­space, cul­ture and art. It has the most in China and ranks se­cond in­ter­na­tion­ally in term of quan­tity and cat­e­gories of the mu­se­ums, af­ter only Lon­don.

The Palace Mu­seum, the Na­tional Mu­seum of China, the Mil­i­tary Mu­seum of Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Revo­lu­tion, China Science and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum, the Cap­i­tal Mu­seum and the Bei­jing Mu­se­ums As­so­ci­a­tion es­tab­lished the Cap­i­tal’s Mu­se­ums Union in 2011. It has more than 120 mem­bers so far. It is­sues an­nual passes and maps of mu­se­ums, of­fer­ing con­ve­nience for visi­tors.

In re­cent years, Bei­jing has made ef­forts to launch more bou­tique ex­hi­bi­tions, carry out more cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, open more mu­se­ums free of charge and or­gan­ise more lec­tures in or­der to ben­e­fit as many of its res­i­dents as pos­si­ble with cul­tural de­vel­op­ment achieve­ments.

Au­tumn is a great time to plan a trip to the city’s mu­se­ums, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Golden Week hol­i­day. One will likely have a great time and learn more than they can imag­ine.

The Palace Mu­seum

The Palace Mu­seum is a must-visit at­trac­tion in Bei­jing. The mag­nif­i­cent ar­chi­tec­tural com­plex demon­strates the im­men­sity and grand­ness of past dy­nas­ties; the ex­quis­ite fur­nish­ings and grace­ful lay­out of the Six East­ern Palaces, Six West­ern Palaces and the In­ner Court ex­hi­bi­tions show­case the gen­tle at­mos­phere of court life.

The East­ern Cham­ber of the Hall of Men­tal Cul­ti­va­tion traces the vi­cis­si­tudes and the in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal trou­bles the Chi­nese na­tion en­dured about a cen­tury ago.

Puyi, the last em­peror of China (reign: 1909–1912), was ex­pelled from the For­bid­den City in 1924. The Palace Mu­seum was es­tab­lished in the In­ner Court the next year. It was con­structed on the ba­sis of the For­bid­den City, the im­pe­rial palace of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dy­nas­ties. It is a large, com­pre­hen­sive mu­seum that in­te­grates the an­cient ar­chi­tec­tural com­plex, im­pe­rial court col­lec­tions, his­tory, cul­ture and art. The mu­seum serves to pro­tect and ad­min­is­ter the ar­chi­tec­tural com­plex and court col­lec­tions. It is an in­sti­tute to col­lect, re­search and dis­play Chi­nese cul­tural ar­ti­facts from the Ming and Qing im­pe­rial courts.

The mu­seum has thor­oughly pre­served the im­pe­rial palaces and valu­able col­lec­tions that the Ming and Qing courts left be­hind such as ce­ram­ics, paint­ings, cal­lig­ra­phy, bronze works, time­pieces and works of jade. The col­lec­tions have been aug­mented by na­tional al­lo­ca­tions, so­lic­i­ta­tion and pri­vate dona­tions. Some of the cul­tural relics from the Qing Dy­nasty were re­lo­cated to the Na­tional Palace Mu­seum in Taipei in 1948 and 1949. Some treasured pieces that Puyi took out of the palace have been re­trieved. Af­ter 1949, the col­lec­tions were fur­ther ex­panded and could be di­vided into sev­eral cat­e­gories: cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ings, cul­tural relics from the court, an­cient uten­sils, books and his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments, to­tal­ing 1.86 mil­lion items. They cover much of the his­tory of Chi­nese civil­i­sa­tion and nearly all cat­e­gories of cul­tural relics.

The Palace Mu­seum has per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion halls, such as the Trea­sure Hall, Clock Hall, Paint­ings Hall, Bronze Hall, Opera Hall and Porce­lain Hall. It will also host the­matic cul­tural relic ex­hi­bi­tions. One can gain a great un­der­stand­ing of China's out­stand­ing achieve­ments in arts and crafts. It is a mag­nif­i­cent trea­sure trove of Chi­nese art. The Palace Mu­seum launched an on­line tick­et­ing sys­tem on the 2017 Na­tional Day Hol­i­day, which has been very con­ve­nient for tourists. Peo­ple come to the Palace Mu­seum in an end­less stream to ex­pe­ri­ence its colour­ful ex­hi­bi­tions and abun­dant and di­verse col­lec­tions.

Na­tional Mu­seum of China

When one is stand­ing in Tian'an­men Square, one will likely even­tu­ally be at­tracted by a grand build­ing sit­u­ated to the east. This is the Na­tional Mu­seum of China, the mu­seum with the largest floor area in the world.

The Na­tional Mu­seum of China is the top mu­seum of his­tory and art in China. It dis­plays China's ex­cel­lent tra­di­tional cul­ture, revo­lu­tion­ary cul­ture and ad­vanced so­cial­ist cul­ture. This com­pre­hen­sive, na­tional mu­seum in­te­grates col­lec­tions, ex­hi­bi­tions, re­search, ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­plo­ration, pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and cul­tural ex­changes. Fortyeight dif­fer­ent-sized halls are dis­trib­uted in an area of 65,000 square me­tres. It houses about 1.4 mil­lion items, show­cas­ing the bril­liant, 5,000-year-old Chi­nese civil­i­sa­tion.

The ex­hibits pro­vide a thor­ough il­lu­mi­na­tion of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture. A few high­lights are an ex­quis­ite, drag­on­shaped statue carved out of Xi­uyan jade, which is nick­named “China's first dragon”; Simuwu ding, a grand, rect­an­gu­lar bronze tri­pod from the an­cient Shang Dy­nasty (16th cen­tury–11th cen­tury); a bronze food con­tainer with in­scrip­tions about King Wu of Zhou be­ing en­gaged in an ex­pe­di­tion against Shang troops; hu­mor­ous and vivid, singing pot­tery fig­urines from the East­ern Han Dy­nasty pe­riod (AD 25–220); and pot­tery, cal­lig­ra­phy, paint­ings, an­cient doc­u­ments and books from the Song (AD 960–1279) to Qing dy­nas­ties.

The mu­seum de­picts the un­tir­ing strug­gle of Chi­nese peo­ple for more than 170 years since the Opium War in the 1840s, revo­lu­tion­ary cul­ture and ad­vanced so­cial­ist cul­ture. Chi­nese peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enced the Taip­ing Re­bel­lion, the Yi­het­uan Move­ment, the Revo­lu­tion of 1911, the found­ing of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC), sparks of revo­lu­tion at Jing­gang­shan and the found­ing of the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China in 1949. The na­tion es­tab­lished a so­cial­ist sys­tem and has set off on a path of re­form and open­ing up since 1978. Al­most 70 years of ex­plo­rations since 1949 and, more re­cently, the spirit of forg­ing ahead af­ter the 18th Na­tional Congress of the CPC in 2012 demon­strate the na­tion's spirit of cease­less self-im­prove­ment.

The mu­seum has abun­dant and splen­did col­lec­tions in var­i­ous gen­res, about 6,000 of which are of great his­tor­i­cal, sci­en­tific and artis­tic value.

The mu­seum has two per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tions: An­cient China and Road to Re­ju­ve­na­tion. On Novem­ber 29, 2012, Xi Jin­ping, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, and the mem­bers of the Po­lit­i­cal Bu­reau of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee vis­ited the Road of Re­ju­ve­na­tion Ex­hi­bi­tion to call for the grand re­ju­ve­na­tion of Chi­nese na­tion.

The mu­seum, as the “cul­tural par­lour” of China, hosts dozens of the­matic ex­hi­bi­tions and in­ter­na­tional ex­change ex­hi­bi­tions in about ten dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories, such as bronze works, nu­mis­mat­ics, porce­lain, stone carv­ings, revo­lu­tion­ary cul­tural relics, and mod­ern works of art. These ob­jects de­pict the charm of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and are an im­por­tant part of the world's her­itage.

The mu­seum has walked a glo­ri­ous path for about 100 years. It has ac­cu­mu­lated pro­found his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural re­sources and has be­come an im­por­tant plat­form for col­lect­ing and pro­tect­ing cul­tural relics, ex­hi­bi­tions, so­cial ed­u­ca­tion, sci­en­tific re­search and for­eign ex­changes. It at­tracts ten mil­lion tourists ev­ery year and is one of the most pop­u­lar mu­se­ums in the world.

Cap­i­tal Mu­seum

The Cap­i­tal Mu­seum in­te­grates the charm of an­cient and mod­ern struc­tures. It can be found on Chang'an Av­enue, sev­eral kilo­me­tres west of the Na­tional Mu­seum of China.

The build­ing it­self is a piece of art. The mas­sive roof in­her­its the over­hang­ing eaves of tra­di­tional Chi­nese struc­tures. Long stone walls sym­bol­ise an­cient city walls. A dis­tinc­tive, oval-shaped bronze statue is em­bed­ded in the outer wall. The gra­di­ent at the en­trance square con­tin­ues the style of an­cient plat­form struc­tures. The path lead­ing to the hall is sim­i­lar to those lead­ing to the im­pe­rial court in an­cient times. The an­tique arch­way in­side the hall re­flects the sym­met­ri­cal fea­tures of Chi­nese build­ings. The mu­seum rep­re­sents har­mony

be­tween the past and the fu­ture as well as art and na­ture. A large and com­pre­hen­sive mu­seum, it thor­oughly show­cases na­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics and strik­ing fea­tures of the mod­ern era.

The mu­seum was re­lo­cated to this site in the past and re­opened on May 18, 2006, coin­cid­ing with In­ter­na­tional Mu­seum Day. It houses about 250,000 pieces of cul­tural relics, most of which were un­earthed in the Bei­jing area af­ter 1949. They the Ne­olithic Age, to the Shang and Zhou (11th cen­tury–256 BC) dy­nas­ties, and up to the Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties. Some of the items are unique trea­sures well-known both at home and abroad. The mu­seum was for­merly lo­cated at the Con­fu­cius Tem­ple on Guoz­i­jian Road and is a ma­jor, na­tional, cul­tural relic pro­tec­tion unit.

The mu­seum is in align­ment with Bei­jing's sta­tus as an “an­cient his­toric and cul­tural city,” an “in­ter­na­tional me­trop­o­lis” and its ori­en­ta­tion as “the na­tion's cul­tural cen­tre.” It is one of the top mu­se­ums at home and abroad with its grand build­ing, abun­dant ex­hibits, ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and com­plete func­tions.

The an­tique arch­way, sunken court­yard with green bam­boo and flow­ing wa­ter cre­ate a har­mo­nious at­mos­phere with cul­tural and nat­u­ral el­e­ments.

The mu­seum fol­lows the prin­ci­ple of “putting peo­ple and cul­tural relics first and serv­ing so­ci­ety.” The per­ma­nent An­cient Cap­i­tal • His­tory and Cul­ture of Bei­jing Ex­hi­bi­tion is the core of the mu­seum. It fo­cuses on Bei­jing's pro­found cul­ture and dis­plays the his­tor­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of the city chrono­log­i­cally from a prim­i­tive res­i­den­tial area; to a city; the po­lit­i­cal cen­tre of North China; the de­vel­op­ment of a united, multi-eth­nic, feu­dal state; and fi­nally the cap­i­tal of the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China. The ex­hi­bi­tion de­picts mag­nif­i­cent Bei­jing cul­ture and the city's evo­lu­tion to­wards glory.

Folk Cus­toms in Old Bei­jing is an­other per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion. It pro­vides a vivid close-up of cus­toms and rit­u­als in Bei­jing and cov­ers his­tory from the late Qing Dy­nasty and early Re­pub­lic of China pe­riod with its “Life in Hu­tong (lanes and al­leys)” theme. Bei­jing's 800 years of his­tory as an im­pe­rial city are the back­drop to this ex­hi­bi­tion. It is grounded in the city's hu­tong and si­heyuan (tra­di­tional, rect­an­gu­lar court­yard res­i­dences), which are very char­ac­ter­is­tic of the city. Wed­dings, births and fes­ti­vals are re­lated through the lens of a court­yard house­hold and are strung to­gether via the nar­ra­tion of an “Old Bei­jinger.”

The items dis­played at the per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tions are from the mu­seum's col­lec­tions and are cul­tural relics un­earthed from the Bei­jing area. The per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tions also fea­ture the lat­est re­search re­gard­ing his­tory, cul­tural relics, ar­chae­ol­ogy and other rel­e­vant dis­ci­plines. The mu­seum also houses six bou­tique ex­hi­bi­tions about an­cient porce­lain art, bronze art­work from the State of Yan, an­cient cal­lig­ra­phy art, an­cient paint­ing art, an­cient jade art and an­cient Bud­dhist art. They form a dis­tinc­tive dis­play of Bei­jing char­ac­ter­is­tics along with the tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions.

Bei­jing Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory

The Bei­jing Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory is lo­cated on the south­ern part of the Cen­tral Axis in Dongcheng Dis­trict. It is ad­ja­cent to the Park of the Tem­ple of Heaven. The Bei­jing Tian­qiao Per­form­ing Arts Area lies across from it. The mu­seum houses pre­cious fos­sils, such as a Ju­ra­maia sinen­sis spec­i­men, which is known as the “Juras­sic mother from China”; a An­chior­nis hux­leyi fos­sil; the only Di­nor­nis fos­sil pre­served in China; a

skull fos­sil of an in­ter­na­tion­ally-known, an­cient Yel­low River ele­phant; a 26-m-long Ma­men­chisaurus Jingya­nen­sis fos­sil; and the only mum­mi­fied di­nosaur in China.

The mu­seum houses a to­tal of 270,000 fos­sils and other spec­i­mens. It uses the con­cept of evo­lu­tion to ex­plain bi­o­log­i­cal di­ver­sity and its re­la­tion to the en­vi­ron­ment. It con­structs a panoramic sketch of the evo­lu­tion of life on earth.

Peo­ple are com­pelled to ex­plore the mys­ter­ies of na­ture. The Pa­le­on­tol­ogy Hall ex­plains the ori­gin of life and evo­lu­tion in its early pe­riod. The fos­sils on dis­play re­mind visi­tors of ex­tinct crea­tures. The Plants Hall cov­ers aquatic plants to ter­res­trial plants. Even the bloom­ing of a flower and the spread of a seed con­tain mys­ter­ies and nar­rate as­pects of plants' evo­lu­tion across bil­lions of years. The An­i­mal Hall de­codes the mys­ter­ies the “friends of hu­mans.” The evo­lu­tion from apes to hu­mans, which is de­picted in the Hu­man Hall, is an as­ton­ish­ing epic.

The first large-scale mu­seum of nat­u­ral his­tory founded af­ter the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China was es­tab­lished, the mu­seum has three main func­tions: spec­i­men col­lec­tion, aca­demic re­search and pop­u­lar­i­sa­tion of pa­le­on­tol­ogy, zool­ogy, botany and an­thro­pol­ogy. The mu­seum is not a dull place for science pop­u­lar­i­sa­tion. It has hosted many in­ter­ac­tive ac­tiv­i­ties that help peo­ple ex­plore the na­ture and has at­tracted many young fans. Events such as An­i­mals— Friends of Mankind” and the Di­nosaur Park help cul­ti­vate peo­ple's love for na­ture science in a joy­ful at­mos­phere. China Science and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum The China Science and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum is on Be­ichen East Road in Chaoyang Dis­trict. It lies north of the Na­tional Sta­dium (“Bird's Nest”). It looks like a huge box, a magic cube or a Lu Ban Lock pieced to­gether from sev­eral blocks. It is the only com­pre­hen­sive, na­tion­al­level science and tech­nol­ogy mu­seum in China. It is known as the new China Science and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum. The old one is sit­u­ated on the East Third Ring Road.

The mu­seum helps peo­ple learn while be­ing en­ter­tained. It has many in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive ex­hi­bi­tions that in­vite the par­tic­i­pa­tion and in­ter­ac­tion of visi­tors. It en­cour­ages visi­tors to ex­plore for them­selves. The mu­seum at­tempts to spread in­for­ma­tion and en­cour­age sci­en­tific think­ing, sci­en­tific method­ol­ogy and sci­en­tific spirit. Both chil­dren and adults are the tar­get au­di­ence. The mu­seum also or­gan­ises var­i­ous science pop­u­lar­i­sa­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, train­ing pro­grammes and ex­per­i­ments to help deepen peo­ple's un­der­stand­ing and com­pre­hen­sion of science and tech­nol­ogy and im­prov­ing sci­en­tific lit­er­acy. Ex­plo­ration, un­lock­ing mys­ter­ies and dis­cov­er­ing se­crets .

The new China Science and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum opened on May 9, 2006 and has five the­matic halls: Science Par­adise, The Glory of China, Science & Tech­nol­ogy and Life, Ex­plo­rations and Dis­cov­er­ies, and Chal­lenges and the Fu­ture. It has four spe­cial-ef­fect the­atres: the Dome The­atre, which fea­tures state of the art film pro­jec­tion and plan­e­tar­ium func­tions; Giant Screen The­atre; 4D The­atre; and Mo­tion The­atre.

The mu­seum takes con­crete steps to im­ple­ment “na­tional re­ju­ve­na­tion through science and ed­u­ca­tion” and “tal­ent strat­egy” con­cepts. Visi­tors are eager to learn more about science. The mu­seum has some­thing for ev­ery­one, whether they are am­a­teur en­thu­si­asts or pro­fes­sion­als.

Na­tional Art Mu­seum of China

The Na­tional Art Mu­seum of China (NAMOC) build­ing has strik­ing na­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics. It is lo­cated on Wusi Street in Dongcheng Dis­trict. It has a yel­low glazed-tile roof and some pavil­ions. It be­came a na­tional, cul­tural land­mark struc­ture af­ter the found­ing of the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China in 1949.

The NAMOC opened to the pub­lic in 1963, and its name was in­scribed by Chair­man Mao Ze­dong.

The six-storey mu­seum has 21 halls. They ex­hibit works of art by renowned Chi­nese artists from both an­cient and mod­ern times, such as Su Shi, Tang Yin, Xu Wei, Ren Bo­nian, Wu Chang­shuo, Huang Bin­hong, Qi Baishi, Lin Feng­mian, Liu Haisu, Pan Tian­shou, Li Keran and Wu Guanzhong. It also dis­plays works by cal­lig­ra­phers such as Yu Youren, Gao Er­shi, Sha Meng­hai and Qi Gong and sculpted works by Liu Kaiqu, Zeng Zhushao, Ziao Chuan­jiu, Zhang Chon­gren, Wang Chaowen, Liu Huanzhang, Wen Lou and Zhu Ming. Ex­cel­lent works by worl­drenowned for­eign artists, such as Pablo Pi­casso, Kaethe Koll­witz and Ansel Adams, are dis­played in the spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions ar­eas.

The mu­seum houses about 110,000 works in to­tal. The de­vel­op­ment of fine art in China is de­picted chrono­log­i­cally. Visi­tors can view clas­sic works and pi­o­neer­ing new art from up close.

In re­cent years, the NAMOC has cu­rated and or­gan­ised a se­ries of new ex­hi­bi­tions to meet peo­ple's ever-in­creas­ing in­ter­ests in art and for their aes­thetic en­joy­ment. Some of these in­clude the Chi­nese Spirit Ex­hi­bi­tion Se­ries, the Aca­demic In­vi­ta­tional Se­ries Ex­hi­bi­tion, the Do­na­tion and Col­lec­tion Ex­hi­bi­tion Se­ries, the In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion Ex­change Se­ries and The Belt and Road Ex­hi­bi­tion Se­ries. About 1,000 in­flu­en­tial ex­hi­bi­tions that re­flect the de­vel­op­ment trend and pros­per­ity of Chi­nese art and serve as a plat­form for artis­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween China and the rest of the world have been hosted.

As a na­tional-level art mu­seum and palace for Chi­nese art, the NAMOC is ded­i­cated to ex­hi­bi­tion, col­lec­tion, re­search,

pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, in­ter­na­tional ex­change, art­work restora­tion and the cul­tural and creative in­dus­try. It is a plat­form for pub­lic cul­tural ser­vices as well.

To meet the na­tion's de­mands for cul­ture, the new venue of the NAMOC will be built in­side Olympic Park, near the Na­tional Sta­dium.

To­day Art Mu­seum

If you have al­ready been im­pressed by the ex­hibits on show in the cap­i­tal's na­tional level mu­se­ums and want to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, why not visit the To­day Art Mu­seum in Bei­jing's Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict, an area which show­cases the city's rapid so­cial and eco­nomic changes.

When vis­it­ing the To­day Art Mu­seum, you can­not help but no­tice the row of white fig­ures sit­ting on the roof of the mu­seum which seem to be look­ing at some­thing be­low. The stat­ues en­ti­tled “Look­ing at an Ex­hi­bi­tion” were de­signed by Wang Jian­wei for per­ma­nent out­door ex­hi­bi­tion at the mu­seum. The de­signer feels the mean­ing of drama is to be found in daily life and daily life to some ex­tent is also a drama. Ac­cord­ing to Wang Jian­wei, he wanted to use this work to con­duct a de­lib­er­ate con­ver­sa­tion be­tween “au­di­ences” and “per­form­ers.”

The mu­seum's en­trance is also a piece of con­tem­po­rary art in it­self. The en­trance is a steel struc­ture in the shape of the Chi­nese char­ac­ter “之”( zhi). From a dis­tance, visi­tors seem to only see a long ramp and no stairs—the way into the mu­seum only re­veal­ing it­self as they ap­proach. This re­flects the de­sign con­cept of com­bin­ing form and func­tion. The zigzag-style bar­ri­er­free ramp al­lows visi­tors to ob­serve their sur­round­ings from more an­gles and be­gin their jour­ney ex­plor­ing the beauty of art be­fore they have even stepped foot in the mu­seum. In ad­di­tion, this de­sign fea­ture also en­ables large ex­hibits to be brought in and out con­ve­niently.

Over the years, Bei­jing has fo­cused on pro­tect­ing its tra­di­tional ur­ban lay­out and re­de­vel­op­ing its old build­ings. The mu­seum is one rep­re­sen­ta­tive of this pol­icy. Cov­er­ing an area of 1,400 square me­tres (sq. m) and housed in what used to be the boiler room for the Bei­jing Brew­ery, its 12-me­tre­high ceil­ings make it an ideal venue for show­cas­ing con­tem­po­rary works of art. The build­ing for­merly housed large boil­ers and so its high load-bear­ing ca­pac­ity means it can meet the re­quire­ments of show­cas­ing large-scale con­tem­po­rary ex­hibits. Ren­o­vat­ing old build­ings is one method to pro­tect and de­velop the city whilst re­spect­ing its orig­i­nal char­ac­ter­is­tics. Visi­tors can ex­pe­ri­ence avant-garde style here as ren­o­va­tion breathes new life into this old build­ing, pre­serv­ing the his­tory of the city's ur­ban de­vel­op­ment.

One strik­ing fea­ture of the mu­seum is that its in­te­rior has been painted en­tirely white, thereby max­imis­ing the ef­fect of the ex­hibits. The fa­cil­i­ties at the mu­seum are both flex­i­ble and con­ve­nient. Dis­play pan­els can be freely com­bined and matched ac­cord­ing to the ex­hi­bi­tion type; track light­ing can be ad­justed depend­ing on the ex­hi­bi­tion lay­out; and non-load­bear­ing walls can be taken down or put up to meet the dif­fer­ing needs of ex­hibits.

The mu­seum's high-qual­ity ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties have at­tracted many top Chi­nese and in­ter­na­tional con­tem­po­rary artists to hold their ex­hi­bi­tions—with shows of paint­ings, sculp­tures, photographs and au­dio­vi­sual arts all play­ing a role in pro­mot­ing ex­changes in con­tem­po­rary art be­tween China and other coun­tries.

The de­vel­op­ment con­cept be­hind the mu­seum is to “un­der­stand, cre­ate and share to­day's art.” As China's first pri­vate non-profit mu­seum, it has formed a com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment model and can pro­vide a va­ri­ety of ser­vices and re­sources, in­clud­ing or­gan­is­ing ex­hi­bi­tions, aca­demic ex­changes and artis­tic sa­lons; pro­vid­ing art ed­u­ca­tion, con­tem­po­rary art ap­praisal, artis­tic in­for­ma­tion and im­age data ser­vices; col­lect­ing works of art; and pub­lish­ing books and mag­a­zines.

This multi-faceted mu­seum at­tracts a large num­ber of art lovers ev­ery year. Vis­it­ing the To­day Art Mu­seum has be­come a fash­ion­able and artis­tic way of life, so if you get the op­por­tu­nity, why not ex­plore the mu­seum with friends and im­merse your­self in its di­verse artis­tic at­mos­phere.

Parkview Mu­seum

When peo­ple hear the names Fang­caodi or Parkview Green, their thoughts im­me­di­ately turn to ideas of beau­ti­ful scenery. Fang­caodi is lo­cated out­side Chaoyang­men Gate and was an area dom­i­nated by grass­lands and wheat fields dur­ing the Ming Dy­nasty (1368–1644). To its east was Dong­daqiao, a bridge which formed part of a ma­jor grain trans­porta­tion route from Tongzhou to the cen­tre of Bei­jing. In an­cient times, grain was shipped from the south of China to Tongzhou along the Grand Canal, from where it made the jour­ney to Bei­jing by pass­ing through Chaoyang­men Gate. This strate­gic po­si­tion brought pros­per­ity to the ar­eas near Chaoyang­men Gate and by the Qing Dy­nasty (1644–1911), sev­eral mil­i­tary agen­cies had set up busi­ness in Fang­caodi.

“Ji­u­jing huan­shi tu” (“Panoramic Views of Old Bei­jing”) painted by Wang Daguan presents the lay­out and land­scapes of old Bei­jing. The bustling scenes on ei­ther side of Dong­daqiao, in­clud­ing Fang­caodi, are por­trayed in the be­gin­ning of the scroll paint­ing. Time flies but Fang­caodi still main­tains its vi­tal­ity. Soon af­ter the found­ing of the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China, the of­fices of some as­so­ci­a­tions in the China Fed­er­a­tion of Lit­er­ary and Art Cir­cles were es­tab­lished in Fang­caodi and many well-known cul­tural per­son­ages

spent mem­o­rable years there. Nowa­days, Fang­caodi is a vi­brant cen­tre con­tain­ing of­fice build­ings, ho­tels and shop­ping malls, which lead a trend of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment with in­no­va­tive and ecofriendly tech­nolo­gies.

Parkview Green is a com­mer­cial com­plex which com­bines a shop­ping mall, of­fice build­ings, ho­tel and cul­tural and artis­tic re­sources lo­cated in Fang­caodi, an area with a strong in­ter­na­tional at­mos­phere and prime lo­ca­tion in Bei­jing. It is no won­der that young peo­ple of­ten gather there to en­joy fash­ion and art.

When talk­ing about the artis­tic el­e­ments of Fang­caodi, one sim­ply must men­tion the Parkview Mu­seum. The mu­seum ad­vo­cates the con­cept of “Peo­ple First” in com­bin­ing con­tem­po­rary art ex­hi­bi­tions, artis­tic re­search and pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. Cov­er­ing an area of over 4,000 sq.m, it fea­tures two large ex­hi­bi­tion halls for host­ing a va­ri­ety of ex­hi­bi­tions, in­clud­ing paint­ings and per­for­mance art, and a lec­ture hall with seat­ing for over 100 peo­ple.

The mu­seum or­gan­ises a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, such as Vene­tian mask-mak­ing for the Venice Car­ni­val, les­sons on the evo­lu­tion of cos­tumes in Ital­ian the­atre, and wine tast­ing whilst en­joy­ing works of art. Of­fice work­ers who love the arts can par­tic­i­pate in their “Night of the Mu­seum” event, which usu­ally runs un­til 9:30 p.m.

The mu­seum at­tracts both adults and chil­dren with its se­ries of fun and ed­u­ca­tional art ac­tiv­i­ties and ac­tively en­cour­ages par­ents to take their chil­dren to ex­pe­ri­ence art. The staff not only pro­vide young visi­tors with a cus­tomised art tour but also teach them the eti­quette of vis­it­ing mu­se­ums. In a re­laxed at­mos­phere, par­ents and chil­dren can view and learn about art, en­rich­ing their aes­thetic ex­pe­ri­ence and en­hanc­ing their artis­tic cre­ativ­ity and imag­i­na­tion.

Artis­tic el­e­ments are in Parkview Green's DNA and can be found across the com­plex, mak­ing it look like an art­filled mu­seum. The “green con­cept” is a high­light of Parkview Green. For ex­am­ple, the Parkview Mu­seum ap­plies cut­ting- edge en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly tech­nolo­gies to its air- con­di­tion­ing and light­ing sys­tems and has be­come a green, sus­tain­able venue with artis­tic re­sources. Visi­tors to the mu­seum can ex­pe­ri­ence the beauty of art sur­rounded by a unique, mod­ern en­vi­ron­ment in a green mas­ter­piece.

The China Mil­len­nium Mon­u­ment World Art Mu­seum

The sun­dial is the ear­li­est form of time­keep­ing de­vice, which in­di­cates the time of day by the po­si­tion of the shadow cast on an ob­ject ex­posed to the sun's rays, and as such was an im­por­tant in­ven­tion by hu­man be­ings for time­keep­ing. In Bei­jing, there is a sun­dial-shaped build­ing with a cor­ri­dor and ro­tat­able al­tar sur­face, im­ply­ing the an­cient Chi­nese con­cept of “heaven and earth.” As stated in the Book of Changes: “Heaven, in its mo­tion, gives the idea of strength; The ca­pac­ity and sus­tain­ing power of the earth is what is de­noted by Kun. The su­pe­rior man, in ac­cor­dance with this, with his large virtue sup­ports men and things.” The sun­dial-shaped build­ing is the China Mil­len­nium Mon­u­ment. In the cen­tre of its main build­ing is a large nee­dle-shaped struc­ture at a 45-de­gree an­gle, and in the square out­side one can see the burn­ing “Flame of China,” which was sym­bol­i­cally lit at the Pek­ing Man Site in Zhouk­oudian to sym­bol­ise the fact that the Chi­nese civil­i­sa­tion will never cease.

The China Mil­len­nium Mon­u­ment is an elab­o­rate com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and mod­ern de­sign. The struc­ture

com­bines ar­chi­tec­tural, land­scap­ing, sculp­tural and mu­ral el­e­ments, em­body­ing the har­mo­nious de­vel­op­ment of man and na­ture, and a fu­sion of the sci­en­tific spirit and moral­ity, as well as cul­tural ex­changes be­tween East and West.

Built to com­mem­o­rate the year 2000 and as a place Bei­jingers could usher in the new cen­tury, the China Mil­len­nium Mon­u­ment is a land­mark in Bei­jing. The mon­u­ment is a cen­tre of Chi­nese and for­eign cul­tural, artis­tic and tech­no­log­i­cal ex­changes and a na­tional pa­tri­otic ed­u­ca­tion base. Many ma­jor events, in­clud­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony of Bei­jing De­sign Week, Mid-au­tumn In­ter­na­tional Po­etry Meet­ing, Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Pho­tog­ra­phy Week and Spring Fes­ti­val per­for­mances have been held here.

The mon­u­ment's square com­bines cul­tural el­e­ments from all across the coun­try. In or­der to carry for­ward the Olympic spirit and cul­ture and pro­mote na­tional fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, sub-venue ac­tiv­i­ties of the Bei­jing Olympic City Sports Cul­ture Fes­ti­val are held here ev­ery year. Ev­ery au­tumn, the “Bei­jing Rhythm” ex­hi­bi­tion is held in the mon­u­ment show­cas­ing the lat­est do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional art forms and cul­tural prod­ucts, en­rich­ing Bei­jingers' leisure life and en­ter­tain­ment.

The most fas­ci­nat­ing part of the mon­u­ment is its World Art Mu­seum— China's first mu­seum fo­cused on the col­lect­ing, ex­hibit­ing and re­search­ing of works of art from around the world. The mu­seum con­tains arte­facts and art­works from the Peter­hof State Mu­seum, Bri­tish Mu­seum and Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art amongst oth­ers, which pro­vides Bei­jingers a rare op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore art from around the world. In ad­di­tion, the mu­seum also or­gan­ises ex­hi­bi­tions show­cas­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture.

The mu­seum has been fo­cused on in­ter­na­tional art ex­changes to sup­port Bei­jing's de­vel­op­ment into China's cul­tural and in­ter­na­tional ex­change cen­tre, as ev­i­denced by its mis­sion to “spread world civil­i­sa­tion, pro­mote cul­tural ex­changes, pop­u­larise art ed­u­ca­tion and serve the pub­lic.” Vis­it­ing the mu­seum is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore art from all over the world.

Guanfu Mu­seum

Guanfu Mu­seum gets its name from an ex­pres­sion from Tao Te Ching, as guanfu means “to see all things re­turn to their orig­i­nal state.” Ac­cord­ing to the Tao Te Ching: “The state of va­cancy should be brought to the ut­most de­gree, and that of still­ness guarded with un­weary­ing vigour. All things alike go through their pro­cesses of ac­tiv­ity, and then we see them re­turn to their orig­i­nal state. When things in the veg­etable world have dis­played their lux­u­ri­ant growth, we see each of them re­turn to its root. This re­turn­ing to their root is what we call the state of still­ness.” Ac­cord­ing to this con­cept, in or­der to un­der­stand the essence of the world, peo­ple must re­peat­edly ob­serve it.

Lo­cated at Dashanzi in Chaoyang Dis­trict, Guanfu Mu­seum was founded by the well-known col­lec­tor and re­searcher, Ma Weidu. The mu­seum opened on Jan­uary 18, 1997, and be­gan to ac­cept dona­tions from the gen­eral pub­lic. As a non-profit mu­seum, its ex­hi­bi­tions fo­cus on tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and en­cour­age peo­ple to ex­plore Chi­nese his­tory.

China is the home of porce­lain. Walk­ing into the mu­seum's Porce­lain Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall, one can see a wide va­ri­ety of porce­lain wares. Some are over 1,000 years old, show­cas­ing var­i­ous styles from the Tang (AD 618–907), Song (AD 960–1279), Liao (AD 907–1125), Jin (1115–1234), Yuan (1271–1368), Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties.

Dur­ing the Song Dy­nasty, China's porce­lain mak­ing in­dus­try en­tered into a pe­riod of un­prece­dented pros­per­ity with the Ru Kiln, Jun Kiln, Ge Kiln, Guan Kiln and Ding Kiln op­er­at­ing in He­nan Prov­ince at that time. Porce­lain wares pro­duced from these five kilns were fa­mous for their ex­quis­ite glazes and are con­sid­ered price­less relics to­day, whilst those pro­duced in other kilns, such as Cizhou Kiln, were more prac­ti­cal and were pop­u­lar with the pub­lic. The hall also dis­plays porce­lain wares pro­duced dur­ing the Liao and Jin dy­nas­ties. They com­bine artis­tic el­e­ments of Han Chi­nese and no­madic tribes in the north of an­cient China, fea­tur­ing a sim­ple and nat­u­ral style. Dur­ing the Yuan Dy­nasty, the pro­duc­tion of porce­lain wares reached a high level of ma­tu­rity in terms of work­man­ship and dec­o­ra­tive arts. Arte­facts dis­played in the mu­seum in­clude some rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Yuan porce­lain. More­over, var­i­ous porce­lain wares pro­duced in Jingdezhen (the cen­tre of porce­lain pro­duc­tion dur­ing the Ming Dy­nasty) are a real high­light in the mu­seum. The reigns of em­per­ors Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qian­long (1661–1795) of the Qing Dy­nasty were hey­days in porce­lain pro­duc­tion in an­cient China, and works of this pe­riod fea­tured del­i­cate crafts­man­ship and dis­tinc­tive shapes. When vis­it­ing the mu­seum, you also have the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy the breath­tak­ing beauty of porce­lain wares pro­duced dur­ing the Qing Dy­nasty.

Be­sides porce­lain items, an­cient Chi­nese fur­ni­ture is also on show at the mu­seum. Fur­ni­ture pro­duced dur­ing the Ming Dy­nasty is fa­mous for its el­e­gant shape, ra­tio­nal struc­ture, beau­ti­ful ap­pear­ance and high level of prac­ti­cal­ity. These pieces of Ming fur­ni­ture show­case the con­densed wis­dom of the an­cients. Dur­ing the Qing Dy­nasty, the Im­pe­rial Work­shops gath­ered a va­ri­ety of out­stand­ing ar­ti­sans, in­clud­ing car­pen­ters from across the coun­try. In the early-qing Dy­nasty, the over­all eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion was rel­a­tively pros­per­ous, en­abling Qing fur­ni­ture to grow out of the tra­di­tional Ming Dy­nasty style and en­ter into a new stage. Qing fur­ni­ture, with its beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tion, fine work­man­ship and rich changes of­fered up a new im­age that was im­me­di­ately pop­u­lar at that time. In the Fur­ni­ture Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall, you can see fur­ni­ture made from ma­hogany, rose­wood and yel­low pear, as well as ap­pre­ci­ate a re­stored tra­di­tional Chi­nese study com­plete with fur­ni­ture.

Tra­di­tional Chi­nese work­man­ship was fa­mous for its in­ge­nu­ity. In an­cient times, the tra­di­tional hand­i­craft in­dus­try in China was made up of a wide va­ri­ety of mas­ter ar­ti­sans who re­garded mak­ing the most ex­quis­ite prod­ucts as a great plea­sure. In do­ing so, they not only sat­is­fied peo­ple's ma­te­rial needs, but also met their spir­i­tual de­mands. Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, if one wears a round piece of jade with a piece of string tied through a hole in the mid­dle, the jade is con­sid­ered to be­stow one with a cer­tain amount of power. No mat­ter it the ob­ject was made from gold, sil­ver, cop­per or iron, af­ter it was pro­cessed and dec­o­rated, it would add colour to peo­ple's lives.

In the Work­man­ship Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall, one can see many exquisitely made arte­facts, from an over 7,000-year-old red-painted wooden bowl (a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of “Liangzhu Cul­ture,” lo­cated around the present-day drainage basins of Qiantang River and Taihu Lake), to clois­sonné enamel and gilt bronze items pro­duced dur­ing the reign of Em­peror Qian­long (1736–1795) of the Qing Dy­nasty. The skills of an­cient Chi­nese ar­ti­sans im­bibed their era with its artis­tic el­e­ments. The ex­hibits, in­clud­ing pieces made of clois­sonné enamel, gilt bronze, met­als, bronze, lac­quer, jade and wood housed by the mu­seum are rep­re­sen­ta­tives of tra­di­tional Chi­nese crafts­man­ship.

At the mu­seum, there is a unique dis­play of Chi­nese doors and win­dows. In an­cient times, these ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures were an im­por­tant part of any build­ing, com­bin­ing form and func­tion, and fea­tur­ing a large range of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­tural el­e­ments. In the Doors and Win­dows Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall, ex­hibits in­clude var­i­ous doors, screens, fences and other ar­chi­tec­tural com­po­nents from dwellings pro­duced dur­ing the Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties in the re­gion along the Yangtze River and Yel­low River drainage basin. They com­bine elab­o­rate, gor­geous and sim­ple char­ac­ter­is­tics and each tells its own story. Apart from these per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tions cov­er­ing a large num­ber of valu­able arte­facts, the mu­seum also hosts var­i­ous spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions to show­case tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture.

Tra­di­tional cul­ture is the “root” and the lifeblood of the Chi­nese peo­ple. This root is con­tained in­side arte­facts passed down over thou­sands of years as well as the out­stand­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese crafts­man­ship. As the Peo­ple's Re­pub­lic of China's first pri­vate mu­seum, it has be­come one of Chaoyang Dis­trict's first cen­tres for pro­mot­ing Chi­nese cul­ture based on its rich col­lec­tion of arte­facts. The mu­seum holds “Guanfu Classes,” whereby les­sons are taught through the use of lively ac­tiv­i­ties and fo­cus on com­bin­ing an ed­u­ca­tion in tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture with cur­rent val­ues to en­cour­age chil­dren to learn about Chi­nese his­tory. Par­ents who take their chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in the mu­seum's par­entchild pro­grammes will find out just how much fun learn­ing about cul­tural her­itage can be. More­over, sev­eral stray cats that have made the mu­seum their home have be­come pop­u­lar on­line celebri­ties, hailed as the “most cul­tured cats in his­tory.” The mu­seum ad­vo­cates us­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture to en­rich peo­ple's daily lives. Af­ter vis­it­ing its ex­hi­bi­tions, you can visit the mu­seum's Guanfu Cre­ativ­ity gift-shop which con­tains prod­ucts fea­tur­ing Chi­nese cul­tural el­e­ments. So why not learn more about China's his­tory and her­itage

through the wide range of arte­facts on dis­play at the mu­seum.

Arthur M. Sack­ler Mu­seum of Art and Ar­chae­ol­ogy at Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity

The Arthur M. Sack­ler Mu­seum of Art and Ar­chae­ol­ogy at Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity was China's first ar­chae­o­log­i­cal mu­seum es­tab­lished in a uni­ver­sity. The mu­seum is lo­cated on the cam­pus of Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity, known as “Yanyuan” (the gar­den of Yan, an im­pe­rial gar­den dur­ing an­cient times) in Haid­ian Dis­trict, Bei­jing.

The mu­seum stands in Mingheyuan (“Singing Crane Gar­den”), a small re­stored gar­den in the uni­ver­sity's grounds. Mingheyuan was once an im­pe­rial gar­den, whose name was be­stowed on it by Prince Mianyu, one of the sons of Em­peror Ji­aqing (reign: 1796–1820) of the Qing Dy­nasty. The gar­den was de­stroyed by the Bri­tish and French Al­lied Forces dur­ing the Se­cond Opium War in 1860, and wit­nessed the dif­fi­cult years for in­tel­lec­tu­als dur­ing the first half of the 20th cen­tury. A bronze bust of Arthur M. Sack­ler stands at the en­trance to the mu­seum.

Arthur M. Sack­ler (1913–1987) was an Amer­i­can psy­chi­a­trist, art col­lec­tor and phi­lan­thropist who was par­tic­u­larly fond of Asian art. In 1965, he set up a foun­da­tion in his name to show­case more than 1,100 Chi­nese arte­facts, in­clud­ing rit­ual ves­sels, bronze wares, porce­lain wares and Bud­dhist stat­ues. In 1980, he bought a Qing Dy­nasty em­peror's chair which had been looted from the Sum­mer Palace at auc­tion for US$100,000 and had it sent back to China. Sack­ler re­peat­edly ex­pressed his de­sire to help China pre­serve its rich cul­tural her­itage by pro­vid­ing a mod­ern mu­seum and nur­tur­ing ar­chae­ol­o­gists and muse­ol­o­gists.

China's first ar­chae­o­log­i­cal depart­ment opened in Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity dur­ing the 1920s. Ma Heng (1881–1955, an ex­pert on in­scrip­tions on an­cient bronzes and stone tablets, and former pres­i­dent of the Palace Mu­seum) and Hu Shi (1891–1962, a scholar) served as di­rec­tor of the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal depart­ment, re­spec­tively. In 2000, the School of Ar­chae­ol­ogy and Muse­ol­ogy was es­tab­lished in Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity. The his­tory of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and re­search in Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity can be con­sid­ered as the his­tory of mod­ern Chi­nese ar­chae­ol­ogy. In the 1980s, Arthur M. Sack­ler de­cided to es­tab­lish co­op­er­a­tion ties with Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity by set­ting up a mu­seum. Although he died in 1987, his dream fi­nally came true in 1993 when an ar­chae­ol­ogy and art mu­seum was opened at Mingheyuan in Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity with the sup­port of the Sack­ler fam­ily.

The mu­seum is a court­yard build­ing con­structed ac­cord­ing to Ming and Qing ar­chi­tec­tural styles. Walk­ing into this el­e­gant, clas­sic and sim­ple mu­seum, you can en­joy the wide va­ri­ety of cul­tural relics and works of art, in­clud­ing stone wares, bronze wares, or­a­cle bones, pot­tery, porce­lains, works of cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ings. Its 2,000-sq.m ex­hi­bi­tion hall, is di­vided into sev­eral per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tions, cov­er­ing the Pa­le­olithic Pe­riod; Ne­olithic Pe­riod; Xia (21st cen­tury–16 cen­tury BC), Shang (16th cen­tury–1046 BC) and Zhou (1046–256 BC) dy­nas­ties; War­ring States Pe­riod (475– 221 BC); Qin (221–207 BC) and Han (202 BC–AD 220) dy­nas­ties; Three King­doms Pe­riod (AD 220–280) and Jin (AD 266–420) Dy­nasty; North­ern and South­ern (AD 420– 589) dy­nas­ties; Sui (AD 581–618) and Tang Dy­nas­ties; and the Song, Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties. One should not un­der­es­ti­mate the mu­seum's col­lec­tion, as each arte­fact has a long and unique story in terms of its de­sign, man­u­fac­ture and col­lec­tion. The mu­seum's more than 13,000 items in­clude those pre­vi­ously col­lected by Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity and Yench­ing Uni­ver­sity (a Chris­tian uni­ver­sity that ex­isted from 1919–1952 in Bei­jing), items ex­ca­vated by ar­chae­ol­ogy stu­dents, dona­tions from the gen­eral pub­lic and out­side ac­qui­si­tions.

When talk­ing about the mu­seum, it is im­por­tant to men­tion Pro­fes­sor Don­ald Stone from Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity's School of For­eign Lan­guages. When he first vis­ited, he dis­cov­ered there were only a few ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­hibits, which made him think about do­nat­ing his own col­lec­tions. Since 2007, Pro­fes­sor Stone has given nearly 400 West­ern paint­ings to the mu­seum.

It is said that “ar­chae­ol­ogy trans­mits ra­tio­nal­ity and art stim­u­lates in­no­va­tion.” The mu­seum has pro­moted ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion, re­search and so­cial ser­vices. Some ex­hibits are ar­chae­o­log­i­cal spec­i­mens used in teach­ing; and oth­ers are items that Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity's Ar­chae­ol­ogy Depart­ment has ob­tained based on its teach­ing and re­search over the years. To­gether, they are con­sid­ered as the re­sults and re­sources of Chi­nese ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­search which play a role in pop­u­lar­is­ing ar­chae­o­log­i­cal knowl­edge.

Ar­chae­ol­ogy is not un­fath­omable, and the Arthur M. Sack­ler Mu­seum serves both the uni­ver­sity and the pub­lic. With sup­port from ex­perts in Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity's School of Ar­chae­ol­ogy and Muse­ol­ogy, the mu­seum pro­motes ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and art projects to the pub­lic and en­hances their un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of ar­chae­ol­ogy and the arts. The mu­seum ad­vo­cates the con­cept of “con­stantly dis­cov­er­ing new knowl­edge and shar­ing it with the world.” Over the years, the mu­seum has col­lected, pre­served, show­cased and re­searched a wide va­ri­ety of arte­facts. If you get the chance, you re­ally should visit this unique mu­seum to learn more about ar­chae­ol­ogy and art.

China Film Ar­chive

If one wants to watch a film at a spe­cial venue in Bei­jing, Xiaoxi­tian is a good

place to do so. Xiaoxi­tian has be­come a pop­u­lar way for young peo­ple who love cul­ture and the arts to spend their leisure time. Some art lovers, es­pe­cially film en­thu­si­asts, con­sider Xiaoxi­tian a sa­cred land. “Xiaoxi­tian” refers to the China Film Ar­chive, which is lo­cated in Xiaoxi­tian, on Xin­jiek­ouwai Da­jie in Xicheng Dis­trict.

As the ar­chive of the Na­tional Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NRTA), the China Film Ar­chive in Xiaoxi­tian has huge re­sources for film screen­ings. The ar­chive con­sid­ers it par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to at­tract more film­go­ers and pro­vide them with a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence. Those at­tracted to the ar­chive can en­joy clas­sic Chi­nese films and orig­i­nal for­eign films, but also watch avant-garde works by young di­rec­tors, which are not avail­able in com­mer­cial cin­e­mas.

The sched­ule of film screen­ings at Xiaoxi­tian Art The­ater is filled with low­bud­get, in­de­pen­dent films and dubbed for­eign films, which are hard to find in other places. These films at­tract both film buffs and re­searchers alike, mean­ing get­ting tick­ets can some­times be a lit­tle tricky. For more than 20 years, watch­ing in­de­pen­dent movies has be­come a dis­tinc­tive way of life for film lovers, with more and more join­ing their ranks.

Founded in 1958, the ar­chive con­tains over 30,000 Chi­nese and for­eign films from var­i­ous pe­ri­ods in its bases in Bei­jing and Xi'an. As the world's largest ar­chive of Chi­nese films, it be­came a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Film Ar­chives in 1980, and the Chi­nese Film Arts Re­search Cen­ter— a re­search in­sti­tute for film the­o­ries— was also founded here in 1984. The ar­chive of­ten or­gan­ises film fes­ti­vals on var­i­ous themes for film lovers. The ar­chive con­tains copies of nearly 20,000 Chi­nese films (in­clud­ing more than 5,500 dig­i­tal ver­sions) and ap­prox­i­mately 15,000 copies of for­eign films; more than 31,900 vol­umes of files about films, over 14,500 pic­ture files about films, and more than 50,000 books and pe­ri­od­i­cals on films.

The ar­chive has com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing the spread of Chi­nese and for­eign films. Nowa­days, film lovers have a new venue in Bei­jing: No. 2 Baizi­wan Nan­erlu, Chaoyang Dis­trict. The China Film Ar­chive also has a new film li­brary there, which serves as a pro­fes­sional store­house for the preser­va­tion and us­age of films, and text/pic­ture files about films. At Baizi­wan Art The­atre, film­go­ers can also watch a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent films.

The ar­chive has al­ways ad­hered to the prin­ci­ples of se­lect­ing “dif­fer­ent, in­ter­na­tional and di­verse” films to show at Xiaoxi­tian or Baizi­wan so as to meet the needs of film­go­ers, whilst at the same time pro­vid­ing a plat­form for the pro­duc­tion and screen­ing of pure art films. The ar­chive plays a role in strength­en­ing the cre­ativ­ity and mar­ket­ing of do­mes­tic films and pro­mot­ing in­ter­na­tional ex­changes via film.

Re­cently, screen­ings of art films, clas­sic films and chil­dren's films have be­come high­lights of the ar­chive's “Film Screen­ings to Ben­e­fit the Pub­lic” project. The ar­chive's Art The­ater has also be­gun co­op­er­at­ing with di­any­ing.taobao.com a web­site run by the Alibaba Pic­tures Group to de­velop on­line tick­et­ing for the screen­ing of niche films.

Watch­ing an art film at the China Film Ar­chive's Xiaoxi­tian or Baizi­wan the­atres, Broad­way Cine­math­eque MOMA, Ul­lens Cen­tre for Con­tem­po­rary Art or Lu­miere Pavil­ions has be­come a way of life for many and a way of sat­is­fy­ing peo­ple's needs, us­ing multi-cul­tural and in­no­va­tive meth­ods.

Mu­se­ums in Bei­jing with their pro­found, mys­te­ri­ous, ex­quis­ite, tra­di­tional, mod­ern, clas­sic and unique el­e­ments play host to visi­tors from all around the world. No mat­ter what kind of ex­pe­ri­ence one is look­ing for, a choice that fits one's taste is sure to be found some­where in Bei­jing.

The Na­tional Mu­seum of China, the largest sin­gle-struc­ture mu­seum in the world

The Cap­i­tal Mu­seum

Di­nosaur fos­sils at the Bei­jing Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory

Chil­dren try an in­ter­ac­tive moon ex­hibit at the China Science and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum.

The Na­tional Art Mu­seum of China

Sculp­tures at Parkview Green

The Golden Hall at the China Mil­len­nium Mon­u­ment

An­tique fur­ni­ture at the Guanfu Mu­seum

Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity’s Arthur M. Sack­ler Mu­seum of Art and Ar­chae­ol­ogy ”Look­ing for Zhiyuan Fleet” ex­hi­bi­tion from 2017

The French Film Panorama event ex­hib­ited at the China Film Ar­chive in April 2017

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