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A timeless journey through capital's heart

By Cheng Yuezhu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-18 15:39
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Exhibition on Beijing's Central Axis highlights its history and relevance to today's society, Cheng Yuezhu reports.

Dimly bathed in a sea of blue light, the dark exhibition hall is dotted with stars and constellations, spinning and expanding, forming circular trails on the wall at the far end of the hall.

From the star trails emerge a simplified outline of central Beijing, and a ray of light beams down from the wall and runs through the hall, revealing an architectural model of the ancient capital on the gigantic table placed at the room's center.

With the solemn background music escalating, in an instant, the entire hall shifts from night to day, and then from spring to winter. Nuances of these changes are subtle and gradual, yet it is easy to tell what season it is from the hues of the cityscape.

The 16-meter-long model, built to a scale of 1:500, offers a panorama of Beijing's Central Axis — the core structure of the ancient capital that runs 7.8 kilometers from south to north.

Apart from the 3D projection technology that presents the passing of time and changes of scenery, small screens can be found on the sides of the table, providing animated and textual introductions of the major heritage sites along the way, such as the imperial palace, the Forbidden City, and the hill at the center of Jingshan Park.

The architectural model is one of the major displays at the Beijing Central Axis exhibition that opened on March 28 at the Capital Museum in Beijing.

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