Thursday, August 19, 2010

China Diary Day 12 The Shanghai Museum Part 2 of 2

Welcome to this week's edition of China escapade where we continue with our visit at the Shanghai Museum! In addition to last week's pottery finds, I share with you today some works from other galleries.

From the Paintings gallery, a Chinese painting of a landscape scene in brush and ink on paper, its gentle colors and shapes reminded me of our Yangtze River cruise.
Another painting, one in a series, of a village hut amongst hillsides of empty rice fields, it looked like an illustration that told a tale.
I like the picture below, a peaceful river setting, a man on his boat as he rowed up to his farmland, a fond memory of Shen Nong Stream.
A most beautiful depiction of a branch bearing fruit, possibly cherries. Sophisticated colors and very fine brushstrokes on silk, I stood in amazement.Two items from the seals gallery, the one below was carved on all 6 sides. As shown on the piece of paper, a most interesting seal sign. A landscape scenery covered the top part, a poem span over 4 side parts and the bottom bore the name of the seal bearer, stamped here in red ink or cinnabar paste.
Not all seals are square or rectangular, some are round. The one on the very left is the shape of a calabash or bottle gourd, in Mandarin it is called hulu. The one on the very right is of a bell form and at the very bottom, the thin long profile spelled out a list of characters.I wandered through the Minority Nationalities gallery, one of my favorite spots. I wished I had more time, there was too much to see. Pictured below a most exquisitely embroidered purse by the Yao Nationality. I would have liked to hold this in my hands and feel the richness of the silk stitches and fabric.
A delightful woven bag! At about halfway down, a row of double happiness characters paraded over the light blue area. Straps missing, it seemed incomplete, was this bag created for the festive occasion? Its colors so joyful and sweet I must say this was made for the bride.
A handsome grouping of artifacts, I do not know nor could I make out from the tiny labels which minority nationality made them. Such festive designs, so visually enticing, I love the bright colors.
A shot of the wall display filled with finely woven fabrics and rugs. I stood there, my heart filled with joy, I felt so lucky to have set eyes on these. They are so interesting to look at closely and admire from afar.Another gallery I enjoyed was the Coins gallery, I would have like to stay there longer too! The ancient Chinese coins I was familiar with were round shaped with a square hole in the middle. I found out they were cast with a metal mould pictured below. The mould itself is an interesting form, it looked like an upside down money tree.
Some ancient cast coins shaped as square foot or pointed foot spades, I have never seen coins like these before, a new discovery!Another new find, sword coins that were circulated mainly in the Yan State. Why would anyone want money to be shaped like a weapon?
The last gallery I explored was filled with furniture, the photo below showed a living room setting. Guests would sit on opposite sides while the head of the house sat in the middle. Simple decorations adorned the room, the color of the wood emanated a warm and sincere atmosphere.
Some examples of chair designs, each one a more innovative solution for armrests than the next.A scholar's room with a shelf full of books, a table covered with scrolls of paper and calligraphy materials such as brush and ink. A peaceful setting for contemplating state matters or exploring the creative realm.
Below a fine example of Chinese carved lacquerware, I think this is a decorative stool. The entire specimen was carved so intricately I fear the damage if it was a functional piece. A sophisticated sight, the ceiling light brought out its beautiful crimson color.
Below the last shot captured on camera looking down at the museum foyer. My 5 hours at the world class museum was unbearably rushed! I remembered dashing around madly from one item to the next, gallery to gallery, especially during the last hour. There was no time to find out who or when the item was made. To make matters worse, I had grabbed only one camera battery and one memory card that held only 144 pictures! An action I regretted very much.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the museum visit tremendously. I saw many wonderful things that day, I was and still am very inspired by the creations. The small collection shared here and the last post were of no comparison to the magnificent showcase at the Shanghai Museum. At only 20 RMB ($3 Canadian) entrance fee, this was the lowest priced ticket throughout our entire trip. I highly recommend visiting this venue.

Next week the China trip continues!


  1. Wow! Wonderful stuff - I wish I lived closer to this museum! Thanks for sharing. Your photos are better than those on the official Shanghai Museum website - I checked that out after the previous post of yours!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. The Shanghai Museum is truly a wonder. One could spend days there. The painting of the cherries is exquisite.

  3. Those textiles are just amazing.