From Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013, the National Palace Museum (NPM) and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Exchange Association co-hosted The Cultural Grandeur of the Western Zhou Dynasty. The said exhibition was ranked by a British art journal (i.e., The Art Newspaper) as the number one exhibition among the top 10 most popular exhibitions around the world in 2013, consequently leading to the curating of the Terracotta: The Rise and Legacy of Qin Culture, a special exhibition running at the NPM today.
The Qin empire is the first feudal empire in China. Its administrative, political, and rites and rituals systems had a profound influence on China's later developments. As a state that evolved from a corner state in China to one that defeated six other states to unify China, the distinctive characteristics of its people (i.e., the Qin people) are clearly shown, which epitomizes the development of Chinese civilization.
Since the discovery of Terracotta Army pit on the east side of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (in Lintong District, Shaanxi) in 1974, the region has attracted countless visitors from around the world. In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the said mausoleum as a World Heritage Site. The Terracotta Army has since become a representative symbol of the Qin Dynasty and a topic heavily researched and explored by historians and archaeologists. The Terracotta: The Rise and Legacy of Qin Culture special exhibition features 189 sets of artifacts, some of which were borrowed from the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica and 19 artifact collection organizations in the provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu. Artifacts such as pugubujia, zichege, Xirong noble tombs, and carriages of the kings of Xirong, which have never been exhibited in Taiwan, are major archaeological discoveries of China in recent years, making the Terracotta: The Rise and Legacy of Qin Culture special exhibition one that visitors will not want to miss.
This exhibition catalogue is divided into volumes, which are the Catalogue for the Reverberations of Qin Heritage: Qin Culture Exhibition and the Catalogue for the Tracing the Roots of Ying Qin: Qin Culture Exhibition, in which sections "Qin, Zhou, and Rong," "Eastward to Hegemony," "Reform and Change," and "Han: Continuing in the Footsteps of Qin" as well as monographs from archaeologists and historians detail the Qin culture. Regarding the monographs, four by Zhang Tian-en and five by Zhao Hua-cheng are included in the Catalogue for the Reverberations of Qin Heritage: Qin Culture Exhibition and the Catalogue for the Tracing the Roots of Ying Qin: Qin Culture Exhibition, respectively, to allow readers to gain insight into the exhibition items and learn about Qin history, culture, and systems. By reading the two catalogues, readers will be able to experience the mesmerizing "interactions and exchanges" between modern civilization and one from two thousand years ago.
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