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Sacred rock carvings leave China for the first time
2011 Feb 08

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New exhibition – From Steep Hillsides: Ancient Rock Carvings from Dazu, China – exclusive to Wales.



Visitors to National Museum Cardiff in the New Year will have an exclusive opportunity to see a unique exhibition of ancient rock carvings from China – sculptures which have never before been seen outside China. 'From Steep Hillsides: Ancient Rock Carvings from Dazu, China' will be exhibited from Wednesday 26 January to Sunday 3 April 2011.



The Exhibition Curator Andrew Renton [pictured above in Dazu], Head of Applied Art at National Museum Cardiff, recently invited me to view the sculptures on display. Whilst I was fortunate enough to have a guided tour, the exhibition literature provides a great understanding of these beautiful sculptures and their context within cultural and sacred landscapes.



The steep hillsides of the Dazu World Heritage site near Chongqing contain an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the middle of the 7th century and developed between the 9th and the 13th centuries. The carvings comprise some 50,000 figures in total, and are remarkable for their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period.



This free exhibition – From Steep Hillsides: Ancient Rock Carvings from Dazu, China – and celebrations and events surrounding it, have been made possible through the support of several organisations including the Welsh Assembly Government, Chongqing Municipal Culture, Radio Broadcasting, and Television Administration, British Council, Cardiff University Confucius Institute, Cardiff Council and Cardiff & Co.

It contains superb examples that have become detached from their original setting, along with accurate replicas of some of the most important sculptures still in situ and dramatic large-scale images, to give some idea of what it is like to visit these spectacular places.

Dazu is a real treasure house of Chinese art history and an important expression of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism, as well as a fascinating insight into Chinese daily life.

For more information about this event click here





Peter Robinson, Editor
Bradshaw Foundation
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