Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fans brave long queue for Chinese masterpiece

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 To mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations between China and Japan, Tokyo National Museum is holding a special exhibition of Chinese masterpieces from January 2nd to February 19th, including the world renowned scroll "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" from the Palace Museum in Beijing. The magnificent exhibition consists of a selection of 200 of China’s most prominent masterpieces, taken from the Beijing Palace Museum’s collection of more than 1.8 million artifacts. For the majority of the works, including China’s famous Qingming scroll, this is the first time they have travelled abroad for a chance to astound overseas audiences.

Unlike the rest of the collection, which will remain open to audiences until February 19th, the Qingming scroll is only to be displayed until January 24th. Taking advantage of this rare opportunity, many people started to line up early in the morning in order to get a close look at the legendary masterpiece. Reporter: “Standing in front of Tokyo National Museum, we found a sign saying the time we have to wait for before get to see the real Qingming scroll. Now it says 90 minutes. According to the staff of Tokyo National Museum, the average number of the visitors per day is around 1300.” 90 minutes was not even the worst of it. Many visitors waited as long as 3 hours, and some unfortunate souls missed out altogether. One Japanese visitor said: "I really want to see the Qingming scroll for myself, but today was not my day. I’ll come back another time and queue earlier." The Qingming scroll is no doubt the star of the exhibition. This panoramic handscroll, stretched out full-length under a glass case, presents foreign viewers with the scene of a Qingming Festival back in the 12th century. It captures the daily lives of Chinese people during the Song period, at the then capital Bianjing, today’s Kaifeng. Most visitors came here to see for themselves why the Qingming scroll is considered to be the most renowned work among all Chinese paintings. It seems they’ve found the answer. One Japanese visitor said: "It’s really a golden opportunity to see the real Qingming scroll in person. I was fascinated to learn how Chinese people lived back in the Song dynasty from all the exquisite detail in the painting. It was just astonishing." One Swedish visitor said: "I think it’s amazing. The level of skill, craftsmanship was just amazing." One Japanese visitor said: "I don’t think you can find a painting like this in Japan. It’s a real masterpiece." The Qingming scroll and other selected masterpieces represent an important part of Chinese culture. Many of the visitors at the exhibition expressed added interest in learning about Chinese culture and history. Many hope the exhibition would help introduce more Chinese masterpieces to Japan in the future. Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua said: "The exhibition is a great start to celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations between China and Japan. It is a really significant exhibition. " As one Japanese visitor put it, cultural exchanges such as this can continue to develop a deep friendship between Japan and China for generations to come.

Source: CNTV

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