Mythological Bronzes

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Mythological animals “lived” on 3000 years old bronzes

Zihan Zhong

In this gallery, viewers will get a basic knowledge of different kind of patterns on the bronzes in the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties and their meaning with real examples in front of them. In the thousands of years of Chinese history, bronze is one of the most important material. In about 19th century BCE, China enters the era of Bronze and in the Shang Dynasty and the Western Zhou Dynasty, its development enters the heyday stage. The manufactured bronzes had a wide variety of range in the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasty. They are mainly used in weapons and tools for agriculture, also as musical instruments and slave owners’ daily necessities. The most important usage is
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The walls are dark brown and the ceiling is black with three squares that formed by dozens of spotlights. In the center, there are two high vitrines. These two vitrines have the wooden body with a glass box on it and a wooden top that have lights on it. The bottom of the glass box is a white with slightly yellow undertone platform that has an angled edge with the basic information of the object on it. On top of the platform, there is a glass surface underneath the object to make the bottom of the object clear to see. The Covered wine vessel (hu) with the design of animals and Covered wine vessel (fang lei) with the design of zoomorphic masks are in these two wooden vitrines. The vitrines’ heights vary because of the heights of the objects that they contain to keep the object on the eye level. On the left side of the north entrance, there is a large board that has a brief history of the bronze and the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties. On the left of the entrance, there is another board is filled with short legend about the mysterious monsters with illustrations. These boards are easy to read because of the reasonable amount of text and comfortable leading. The texts are black and the board is ivory. The light on the boards is dimmer than the lights on the artworks but enough for the readers to read. Against the left wall, there is a long vitrine similar to the…show more content…
The animal patterns and the story behind them is an “ice-breaking” point. After they have a basic idea of what these bronze are and what is on them. It is possible for the viewers to have a close and long look at the work, even just to find the animals. This exhibition’s goal is to raise people’s interest in Chinese art and ancient Chinese culture. By telling the story about Taotie, Dragon, and other legendary animals, it’s easier for the viewers to have some understanding of the reasons of why these patterns are on the bronzes and have a short tour of the society at that time. This atmosphere encouraged viewers to be patient and spend more time in front of the objects and words. There are lots of images on the information board and the text is short and large. Therefore they are more likely to be read than ignored. The room is dark so viewers’ attention is all drawn to the bronzes and the boards. The color of the walls also has a similar effect. In addition, the walls create a quite atmosphere which is also similar to the original places of them. The information about each work is close to the work itself so its easier to make the connection and attract the

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