The dog days of summer may have brought us endless heat, but that doesn’t have to spell the end for fun. Air-conditioned spaces with only a few other people around is the new definition of paradise, and in the interest of taking things to the next level and introducing an element of multitasking, why not seek paradise in a place that provides great indoor cooling and some great opportunities to expand one's knowledge. Fortunately, one does not have search far and wide to look for an enlightening museum visit, for a number of exhibitions are being hosted around the city.
Exhibition of Porcelain for Export in Ancient China Venue: Zhejiang Provincial Museum at West Lake Cultural Plaza Time: Until October 18
Co-planned by Guangdong Provincial Museum, Museum of Macau and Hong Kong Art Gallery, the exhibition, already held from 2012 to 2014 in Guangdong, Macau and Hongkong, achieved huge success. This year, the exhibition has landed in Hangzhou to unfold the picture of the prosperous porcelain export trade to Asian and Europe and to showcase the influence of China as a country with a large influence on the development of the porcelain art and crafts in Asian and European countries.
Since ancient times, Chinese porcelain has captured the heart of Europeans and a flourishing trade with China thus developed. Back then, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau were three most important ports and served important transportation hubs.
Almost two hundred pieces of porcelain produced for export, including those from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) till the period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), can be viewed. What's also worth mentioning is that a few of the relics are rescued from two ships sunken during journey - the ‘No. 1 Nanhai’ from the Southern Song Dynasty and ‘No.1 Nanao’.
Historical Silver and Gold Articles Exhibition Venue: West Lake Art Gallery Time: Until August 16
As precious metals, Silver and gold symbolize prestige and status, and this was no different in ancient China. Dubbed as the “Gold Dynasty”, the Tang Dynasty (618-907) had some very particular rules for gold and silver usage - as per the nine rank system of the government, officials under the 1st rank were forbidden to use gold ware made from pure gold and officials under the 6th rank were forbidden to use silverware.
More than four hundred pieces and groups of traditional gold and silver articles dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) till the period of Republic of China (1912-1949) can be found at the exhibition. On loan from ‘San Duo Jiu Ru’, the largest website about the collection of precious metal articles from ancient ages, the displayed articles are of wide variety, from jewelry to daily articles, all made of silver and gold. Not only can one enjoy these dazzling art pieces and marvel at the exquisite workmanship, but in the process get to learn about their history and their role in Chinese history.
Porcelain Pillow Exhibition Venue: Zhejiang Provincial Museum at Solitary Hill Time: Until September 6
The exhibition features almost a hundred porcelain pillows of different sizes and types. Accessible only to rich families in ancient China, the history of their usage spans from the Tang Dynasty to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Despite the material used to make them, porcelain pillows served well to cool off on sweltering summer days, with some specially made in different shapes to help correct deformed necks and shoulders.
In Jiande, there is an ancient town that has experienced thousands of years of wind and rain. It has a beautiful name called Meicheng (Plum Blossom Town). Meicheng was the state town of the then Yanzhou and is now the county town of Jiande. It has a history of 1700 years.