Thursday, 17 November 2011
Lights, camels, action as 'Traveling the Silk Road' exhibit rides into Taipei
A once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the world-changing Silk Road has arrived in Taiwan, as a special exhibition teleports visitors on an adventure through the ancient pathway beginning in Taipei, today.
Originally exhibited in the New York City-based American Museum of Natural History in Summer 2010, the “Traveling the Silk Road” (穿越時空-絲路行特展) exhibition reached Taipei's National Taiwan Science Education Center (國立台灣科學教育館), and will be open to the public for three months, until Jan.29 2012.
Measured to 7,400 kilometers in length, the Silk Road was the most important ancient route for cultural, religious, commercial, scientific and artistic exchanges between the East and the West, beginning as early as 1,600 years ago.
“We are excited that the exhibition could take place in Asia,” Presston Brown, manager of the American Museum of Natural History's Global Business Development Department Traveling Exhibition Operations, said yesterday, surrounded by duplicates of ancient artifacts and life-sized stuffed camels.
Having taken two years to plan, the exhibition is inclusive, with knowledge on all 7,400 kilometers of the pathway provided, and major cities along the way getting specific focus.
Just as in real life, an epic journey along the Silk Road exhibition brings visitors from Xian, featuring silk products from the Tang Dynasty and music from ancient instruments, through Turfan, where treasures from night markets stoke imagination, on to Samarkand, where an interactive map table showcases the geographical, technological, and cultural specialties along the Silk Road. Visitors eventually arrive at Baghdad, where amateur astronomers may operate a replica of an ancient Islamic astrolabe model.
For its educative nature and interactive setup, the exhibition had been a great hit in NYC, Brown said, and the original exhibitors are eager to see what new knowledge of the Silk Road the exhibition could bring to those from the East and are descendents of those who had passed knowledge down, and vice versa.
Echoing Brown's comments, National Taiwan Science Education Center Director-General Chu Nan-shyan (朱楠賢) encouraged visitors from all age groups to experience the interdisciplinary wisdom from thousands of kilometers away and 16 centuries ago, from today through Jan. 29, 2012.