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China's bronze-age relics head for US exhibition

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-14 19:18
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Staff members pack a bronze artifact at Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province on March 4. [Photo/Xinhua]

WUHAN -- More than 260 bronze-age cultural relics from museums in Central China's Hubei province have set off for an exhibition in San Francisco in the United States.

Two cargo aircraft carrying the 263 pieces or sets of artifacts, including jade, bronze, gold, lacquer and textile works, departed from the Chinese capital Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The items will be showcased at the "Phoenix Kingdoms: The Last Splendor of China's Bronze Age" exhibition, set to commence on April 19 and run through July at the Asian Art Museum (AAM) in San Francisco.

The artifacts date back to the Zeng and Chu kingdoms during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC), a period known for its cultural diversity and the birth of great philosophers like Confucius.

Among the most prominent artifacts are a huge bronze wine cooler, a jade pendant carved with dragon and phoenix patterns, and silk clothes embroidered with phoenix patterns.

"Phoenix elements are prominent in Chu culture, while in Western culture, the phoenix is seen as an auspicious bird. By using phoenix as the theme of the exhibition, we hope to evoke an artistic and aesthetic resonance among Chinese and Western audiences," said Zhang Xiaoyun, curator of the Hubei Provincial Museum.

The artifacts have been collected from museums in five cities in Hubei, and include 50 items under first-class state protection, half of which will be exhibited abroad for the first time.

"It provides new perspectives on the formation of Chinese civilization, particularly in the Yangtze River region. We hope more museum exchanges can help enhance cultural understanding between the United States and China," said Zhang Fan, curator of Chinese Art at AAM.

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