Na­tional Trea­sure

Na­tional Trea­sure re­counts the “past and present life sto­ries” of 27 Chi­nese relics.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Pro­duced by CCTV-3, ed­i­tors-in-chief Yu Lei and Lu Yi­tao, pub­lished by CITIC Pub­lish­ing House, May 2018

At the end of 2017, a CCTV se­ries ti­tled Na­tional Trea­sure aired across China. The docu-se­ries fea­tured 27 cul­tural relics from the coun­try’s nine lead­ing mu­se­ums: the Palace Mu­seum, Shang­hai Mu­seum, Nan­jing Mu­seum, Hu­nan Pro­vin­cial Mu­seum, He­nan Mu­seum, Shaanxi His­tory Mu­seum, Hubei Pro­vin­cial Mu­seum, Zhe­jiang Pro­vin­cial Mu­seum and Liaon­ing Pro­vin­cial Mu­seum. Short vi­gnettes were pro­duced to bring to life sto­ries re­lated to the his­tory of the relics.

After two years of re­search, pro­duc­ers in­vited in­flu­en­tial pub­lic fig­ures to serve as “guardians” of the relics to tell their “past and present life sto­ries.”

Leg­ends re­lated to the 27 na­tional trea­sures are told from a mod­ern per­spec­tive, which helped the se­ries win rave re­views from crit­ics and view­ers alike.

“We wanted to present the cul­tural relics as if they were peo­ple who had sur­vived the ups and downs of the ages,” said Yu Lei, pro­ducer and chief di­rec­tor of the show. “They rep­re­sent the spirit and val­ues of the Chi­nese na­tion. Some are still af­fect­ing our ways of life to this day.” Na­tional Trea­sure aims to “cre­ate con­nec­tions between ob­jects in mu­se­ums and peo­ple and life.” The pro­gram was dis­played at the 2018 Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Film and TV Mar­ket and the Cannes TV Fes­ti­val this year.

An ac­com­pa­ny­ing book of the same name was pub­lished to share con­sid­er­able con­tent that wasn’t in­cluded in the orig­i­nal broad­cast. Most of it is re­lated to his­tor­i­cal ma­te­ri­als and re­search on the relics. All data was edited and re­vised by ex­perts from the nine mu­se­ums. The book also con­tains 27 ex­quis­ite pic­tures and multi-an­gle de­tailed pho­tos, which fully cap­ture the beauty and in­ge­nu­ity of ev­ery na­tional trea­sure.

Shan Jix­i­ang, di­rec­tor of the Palace Mu­seum, wrote the pref­ace for the book. He de­clared the book a thor­ough ex­ca­va­tion of the his­tor­i­cal ge­neal­ogy and value in­her­i­tance of cul­tural relics. His­tor­i­cal de­tails un­fit for vis­ual pre­sen­ta­tion are doc­u­mented in the book, so it en­ables read­ers to fur­ther sa­vor cul­tural relics, seize his­tor­i­cal mem­o­ries and in­crease their un­der­stand­ings of his­tory and cul­ture.

Yu Lei is chief di­rec­tor and pro­ducer of Na­tional Trea­sure. She stud­ied jour­nal­ism at the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Univer­sity of China and served as a CCTV di­rec­tor and pro­ducer. She was the chief con­trib­u­tor of the 2012-2014 CCTV Spring Fes­ti­val Galas. Lu Yi­tao, di­rec­tor of the Pro­gram De­part­ment of CCTV-3, is chief pro­ducer of Na­tional Trea­sure.

The bronze tiger-shaped tally of Du County was used to mo­bi­lize and com­mand an army in the Qin Dy­nasty (221-207 BC). The tally is 4.4 cen­time­ters wide, 9.5 cen­time­ters long and 0.7 cen­time­ters thick. It is now housed in the Shaanxi His­tory Mu­seum. Wan­gong sedan chair, a Ningbo-style bri­dal sedan chair from the Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911). The sedan chair is 275 cen­time­ters high, 150 cen­time­ters long and 90 cen­time­ters wide. Due to its com­pli­cated crafts­man­ship, it is es­ti­mated to have re­quired around 10,000 work­ing hours to com­plete. It is now housed in Zhe­jiang Pro­vin­cial Mu­seum.

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