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Publication and Press Releases
2014
July
Funerary pottery of Guangxi depicts way of life and architecture in ancient times
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     An exhibition titled "Assimilation into Han Culture: The Ancient Funerary Pottery of Guangxi", will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of History from tomorrow (July 16) until September 15. The exhibition reveals details of how Guangxi people lived and the dwellings they lived in more than 2,000 years ago by showcasing historic clay models including houses, granaries and wells unearthed in Guangxi.

     The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Department of Culture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Bureau of Cultural Relics of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and is co-organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relic Protection and Archaeology.

     An opening ceremony was held today (July 15). Officiating guests included the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing;the Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Yang Jian; the Vice President of the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Ms Li Kang; the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR, Mr Hu Jianzhong; the Director-General of the Department of Culture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Mr Huang Yu; the Acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Cynthia Liu; and the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu.

     As they are both situated in the Lingnan region, Hong Kong and Guangxi share similar cultural roots. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Tsang Tak-sing said that this exhibition features 76 items/sets of rare burial pottery dating from the Western Han to the Southern Dynasties including model houses, granaries, wells, stoves, and boat and animal figurines. These precious cultural relics reflect the assimilation of the Yue and Han cultures in the Lingnan region, and illustrate details of residential architectural features and social and economic life in Guangxi during the Han Dynasty.

     Mr Tsang said that two pottery models - a granary and a well - unearthed from the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb, the forms of which were very similar to those unearthed in Guangxi, are highlighted at the exhibition to demonstrate the common Lingnan cultural roots shared by Hong Kong and Guangxi.

     As beliefs and customs such as "ruling by filial piety" and "honouring the dead as if they were alive" were advocated in the early Han, funerals involved many burial items - sometimes as many as those needed by the living. Pottery items related to eating, living, clothing and even travelling were made and buried in tombs with the deceased. These items were buried alongside the dead so they could enjoy an equally pleasant life in the afterworld.

     During the mid-Western Han to late Eastern Han, funerary objects closely related to daily life were found in large quantities. These include various pottery items such as model houses, granaries, wells, stoves, paddy fields, and human and animal figurines. In particular, the model houses faithfully depict the living conditions of the time as they encapsulate in miniature people's dwellings during the Han dynasty. The changes in the pottery models' shapes and forms also reflect the interaction of various cultures and the socio-economic development of the time. These pottery models created more than 2,000 years ago not only reveal people's beliefs, they also illustrate forms, features, and development patterns of ancient architecture. Moreover, they provide crucial data in the study of social and economic development.

     The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Admission to the exhibition is free. For details of the exhibition, please visit the website at http://www.hk.history.museum/en_US/web/mh/exhibition/current.html , or call 2724 9042.

Ends/Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:26

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The opening ceremony of the exhibition "Assimilation into Han Culture: The Ancient Funerary Pottery of Guangxi" was held today (July 15) at Hong Kong Museum of History. Officiating guests included (from left) the Acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Cynthia Liu; the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Hu Jianzhong; the Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Mr Yang Jian; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Vice President of the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Ms Li Kang; the Director-General of the Department of Culture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Mr Huang Yu; and the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu.

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The officiating guests tour the exhibition.

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A clay model house with hip roof of the Eastern Han Dynasty. Collection of Hepu County Museum.

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A clay model of two oxen ploughing shows how oxen were employed in farming during the Southern Dynasties. Collection of Wuzhou City Museum.

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A red clay boat with drum and figurines of the Eastern Han Dynasty vividly depicts the structure of boats from that period and also shows how people lived on the water. Collection of Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relic Protection and Archaeology.

 

 

 

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