A Touch of His­tory

HOLD CHINA’S HIS­TORY IN YOUR HANDS AT NUO HO­TEL BEIJING

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ak­ing its de­but in Beijing are 57 ar­ti­facts from the Bu Zhi Tang fam­ily that they’ve spent the past two gen­er­a­tions cu­rat­ing. Th­ese are cur­rently on loan to Nuo Ho­tel Beijing’s sec­ond floor for the pub­lic to see for free un­til the end of Novem­ber.

An ex­hi­bi­tion that’s not just for his­tory buffs, it’s a piece of this country’s past to be ad­mired, but also to be felt. Un­like at a his­tor­i­cal mu­seum, this ex­hi­bi­tion lets you hold a piece of his­tory right in the palm of your hands. It’s a rare op­por­tu­nity to get a glimpse of one of the most im­por­tant pe­ri­ods in an­cient China.

Amongst the 57 items on dis­play is the sword of Zhou Guo. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to ad­mire (and hold) the bronze cast­ing tech­nol­ogy from over 2,000 years ago. The sword was cast with a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent met­als, mak­ing it sharp and in­cred­i­bly durable. Hold­ing it in your hands, you can’t help but won­der about the bat­tles it’s been in and the count­less lives that it’s taken. As one of the last re­main­ing two swords of its kind in ex­is­tence, this is a first-class cul­tural relic.

The piece that stole our at­ten­tion is some­thing much smaller than a sword: A pair of Tally Tigers. One of the only kind in ex­is­tence, th­ese tigers once wielded

Mmore power than any sword could pos­si­bly imag­ine. The Tally Tigers were used as a form of au­then­ti­ca­tion for the em­peror to move his army. The tigers were sep­a­rated in half, one to re­main with the em­peror at all times while the other went with his general. Dur­ing bat­tle, the general would send his plans with a mes­sen­ger back to the em­peror for ap­proval. If the em­peror ap­proved, he would send his half of the Tally Tiger with the mes­sen­ger to the general. No general, no mat­ter how high up in the ranks, could move the army with­out the au­then­ti­ca­tion of the em­peror. Only when the two halves were re-united could the general com­mand his troops. There are no words to de­scribe the feel­ing of hold­ing the small sculp­ture that once de­ter­mined the fate of this country.

Take in the peace­ful sur­round­ings of the ho­tel and the his­tory that this ex­hi­bi­tion holds. Since open­ing, Nuo Ho­tel Beijing has placed a strong focus on Chi­nese his­tory and artists. It’s only fit­ting that they’re here to­day to share a glimpse of this country’s past with us.

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