Jiangsu’s private museums help conserve and spread culture
2018-03-30 17:02:00

According to media report on March 30, the number of registered museums in Jiangsu Province reached 295, including 72 non-state museums or nearly 25 percent of the total, and this higher percentage makes Jiangsu to take a lead in China.

According to Jiangsu’s registration requirements, a non-state museum must have at least 300 pieces or sets of collections and an exhibition area of no less than 400 square meters, usually at an operation cost of over one million yuan ($160,000). Curators of those private museums are spreading Jiangsu culture in their own means.

Nanjing Private Museum of the Chinese War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, established 12 years ago, received up to 1,000 visitors on peak days. The parents of Iris Chang, a Chinese- American author known for "The Rape of Nanking," donated precious videos and books that chronicled her interviews with survivors of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre to the museum. Those materials have become a window for visitors from home and abroad to understand the battle against Japanese forces. The museum’s curator, Wu Xianbin, rarely talks big but he spends about three million yuan a year out of his business, to keep the museum running and make it free of charge to visitors.

Jiangnan Silk Culture Museum, located in Nanjing National Lingjun Talent Venture Park, shows the complete production process of ancient silk-weaving industry in its 1,200 sqm exhibition area, including silkworm farming, silk production, dyeing and weaving. Visitors can appreciate replicas of a silk robe excavated from Mawangdui Tombs of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), a brocade armband with eight characters, meaning "five stars rising in the East and good for the central kingdom," and a garment of Empress Cao of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

Changzhou Comb, now recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage, originated from the Jin Dynasty. With a visit to the Changzhou Comb Museum, people can learn about the elaborate 28 steps for making the wooden comb, such as selecting the fine wood of Chinese little leaf box, briar and jujube trees over 100 years old. While a Biji, a different type of comb with more teeth, requires 72 processes including bamboo and glue selection. The exhibition also displays some historical treasures, including a Silver Award during the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in 1915, a Gold Medal at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1926, and a Gold Medal at the Southern Seas Industries Association in 1910.

Nantong’s blue and white printed calico has a history of at least 800 years. The city’s museum often holds exhibitions abroad, such as during the Spring Festival China culture week in Arizona, Experiencing Jiangsu culture week in St. Petersburg, and the Jiangsu’s cultural tour in Europe. These exhibitions often were highly popular among foreigners.

Zhou Qingming, curator of Xuzhou Imperial Decree Museum, is most proud of the record he made in China – the first private museum allowed to host an exhibition abroad. Zhou said he plans to organize a show in Tullie House Museum this year.

“The text in imperial decrees helps us understand politics, economy, culture, military, writing style, calligraphy and even the art of mounting in ancient China, as well as the traditional Chinese culture,” said Zhou.

Nanjing Yunjin Museum presents Yunjin brocade, a world-class intangible cultural heritage. The exhibition hall shows exquisite Yunjin works in various colors and garments like imperial robes too. The museum makes a priority to demonstrate the production with the primitive, complicated loom.

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Amanda