National Juseums of China
The Spring and Autumn period in China was a period of transition from slave society to feudal society, when the power of the Zhou court greatly declined and some relatively large kingdoms or dukedoms expanded their own influence, initiating a period of intense warfare. The exhibition has representative objects from all the Dukedoms or Kingdoms of the time, and also the world's earliest military tract, excavated in Shandong, called 'Sunzi Bingfa,' which is commonly translated into English as'the Art of Warfare.'
The final section in this brief review of early Chinese history shows items from the people on the periphery of the central plains region. These objects have a clearly regional or 'outside' quality, and yet they also reflect a relationship between their own locality and the central plains. Representative objects are a dragon-tiger zun from Anhui, an elephant zun from Hunan, and some ancient Shu bronzes excavated from Guanghan in Sichuan.
The many centuries from the Warring States until the Opium Wars (475 BC-1840 AD) is regarded as representing a time of feudal society in China. The feudal society exhibit includes seven parts: the Warring States period, Qin, Han, Three Kingdoms, Western and Eastern Jin, North and South Dynasties, Sui, Tang, Five Kingdoms, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing. The feudal society exhibit occupies three-fourths of the total China History Exhibit space.
The Warring States period saw unprecedentedly fierce warfare as local states consolidated, and at the same time was a period of rapid economic growth and cultural development. Bronzes of various kinds and coins from many regions are some of the many items on display here. The Qin period reflects the first unified, multi-ethnic, centralized-power feudal period in Chinese history. The period is portrayed by showing some of the Qin soldiers and horses from the famous pit of the First Emperor of Qin, among other items.
To help the visitor understand the power and majesty of the Western Han and the expansive power of the Eastern Han, a number of wall murals, models of sites, and so on are exhibited, together with actual objects from the periods. These show the increasing connections among all continental peoples in the Western Han period.
The Three Kingdoms, Western and Eastern Jins, and North and South Dynasties were, in Chinese history, a tumultuous and unsettled time. Yet they were also a period of great advances. The Three Kingdoms, Wei, Shu and Wu, are exhibited in the form of bronzes and ceramics with the ceramics in particular showing a high level of glazing technology in the south.
The Sui and Tang periods were another time of great unification in Chinese history. The exhibit reflects the feudal economics of the time, also the increasingly close relations between people of the interior and tribes of the periphery. Exhibited works include items excavated from the grave of Li Jingxun, such Tang Sancai ceramics as a camel carrying musicians, finely glazed ceramics such as ding-yao, carved woodblock printed items excavated from Chengdu, and a Guanyin statue of gilded bronze excavated from Zhejiang
During the Song and Yuan periods, China's feudal society continued to develop and one clear trait was that the contradictions between Han people and minority peoples intensified yet economic and cultural relations were strengthened. This can be seen in the various items on display.
The Ming and Qing dynasties marked the end of the period of Chinese feudal society. The general trend of this period was general decline and decay in the feudal society, for the 543 years from 1368 with the establishment of the Ming dynasty to Xinhai Revolution of 1911 which overturned the Qing dynasty. The main items in the Ming and Qing part of the exhibition include a Beijing Palace map, porcelains from the Jingdezhen kilns, a Qing?dynasty jade seal, a painting of the Qianlong emperor's southern tour, textile equipment made in England, and the swearing-in document when Sun Yatsen took office as President, the latter being a reproduction.
Modern Chinese History Exhibit
This describes how imperialist powers invaded China and also established ties with China's feudal powers, forcing China into a half-colonial half-feudal society. It depicts the resistance of China's people against imperialism, feudalism and the bureaucratic capitalism of Britain. It gives the tortuous path China has taken on its way to modernization.
The Modern China Exhibition is divided into seven parts. In a hall of 2,000 square meters, it uses 2,300 articles including objects, documents, photographs and charts, models, paintings, sculpture and reproductions of sites, simulated environments and so on to produce a lively exhibit of one hundred years of Chinese history from the 1840 Opium War to the establishment of the Chinese People's Republic in 1949. The exhibit reflects the brave struggle and persevering spirit of all levels of people in the search for China's revolutionary path.
The Contemporary China Exhibition will continue the Modern China Exhibit in reflecting contemporary China's historical process.
More Museums in Beijing City