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Location:Meridian Gate (Wu men)
Dates: 2021-09-17 through 2021-11-18
On 17 September, “Beyond the Bounds of History: A Collaborative Exhibition Between the Palace Museum and Dunhuang Academy” opened atop the Meridian Gate in the Forbidden City. Hu Heping, secretary of the leading Party group and minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Li Qun, vice-minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration; He Wei, member of the leading Party group and vice-governor of the People’s Government of Gansu Province; Wang Xudong, member of the leading Party group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the director of the Palace Museum; Zhao Shengliang, secretary of the Party committee at the Dunhuang Research Academy; Su Bomin, director of the Dunhuang Research Academy; and others were present at the opening ceremony. Representing the exhibition’s organizers, Wang Xudong and Su Bomin spoke during the event, which was hosted by Du Haijiang, secretary of the Party committee and deputy-director of the Palace Museum.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the People’s Government of Gansu Province and organized by the Palace Museum and Dunhuang Research Academy as an important measure of implementation by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the People’s Government of Gansu Province of the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s important talk at the Dunhuang Research Academy.
During the 1950s, Dunhuang Research Academy mounted an exhibition in the gallery atop the Meridian Gate (Wu men) in the Forbidden City. Seventy years later, the Palace Museum and Dunhuang once again gather as a duo of cultural pillars to transcend time and space and combine unique ancient and contemporary charisma to offer visitors with an opportunity to deeply understand the great fusion, creativity, and vitality of the Chinese people. The exhibition is divided into three sections—“Splendors of the Silk Road”, “Myriad Phenomena in the Mortal Realm”, and “Protection of the Legacy”—with displays of 188 pieces of cultural relics from the Gansu Province and collection of the Palace Museum as well as hand-painted reproductions of Dunhuang murals, high-fidelity digital reproductions of murals, and reproductions of caves 285, 220, and 320, etc. These offerings afford visitors with a close-up experience of a millennium of two of the greatest representatives of Chinese civilization while presenting the best of the two sites’ research on cultural heritage protection.
As important guardians of culture, the Palace Museum and Dunhuang Research Academy have witnessed the extraordinary development of China’s cultural heritage industries. The exhibition’s third section, “Protection of the Legacy”, presents archives, media, documents, and cultural artifacts as a demonstration of the Party and Nation’s leadership and concern for the issue. As two great institutions of preserving world cultural heritage, the Palace Museum and Dunhuang Research Academy have made important contributions to cultural heritage research and the promotion of cultural legacies since before the establishment of New China.
Additional support for the exhibition is provided by the Gansu Provincial Musuem, Gansu Bamboo Slips Museum, Gansu Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, Tianshui Museum, Wuwei Museum, Jiayuguan Great Wall Museum, Dunhuang Museum, Sandan County Rewi Alley Memorial Hall, Lingtai Museum, and Jingchuan Museum. Further support is provided by special sponsor China Silk Corporation; joint support from China Dunhuang Grottoes Conservation Research Foundation and Hongqi; and construction support from Crown Homes of Suzhou.
“Beyond the Bounds of History: A Collaborative Exhibition Between the Palace Museum and Dunhuang Academy” is on view atop the Meridian Gate (Wu men) from 17 September – 26 November 2021. Tickets may be purchased ten days in advance via the Palace Museum’s online ticketing service (https://gugong.ktmtech.cn/) or the Palace Museum’s official WeChat account by real-name registration with a second-generation ID card (for Chinese residents) or passport (for foreigners).
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu