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Five thousand years of Chinese art now on the Google Cultural Institute
Thursday, September 4, 2014
The phrase “Chinese art” may conjure up images of everything from ornate porcelain vases to provocative contemporary art. But many who live outside the Middle Kingdom may find it daunting to explore China’s five thousand years of rich history and culture.
Today, we hope to have made it a little easier by unveiling 1,400 new items and 48 online exhibitions from nine Chinese partners on the
Google Cultural Institute
. This is one of the largest collections we've made available online in Asia, and the second major addition since Chinese museums first came on board in 2012. We’re happy to help Chinese arts and culture institutions find a global audience, just as
Chinese museum directors have welcomed digital media
to find new audiences for traditional works of art.
The new collections contain works from the dawn of civilization up to the experimental art of modern China. Starting from the ancient:
in China’s Sichuan province holds a vast collection of precious Bronze Age artifacts excavated from Shang period’s ancient burial pits, dating all the way back to the 12th-11th centuries BC. Today you can see nearly 100 of these pieces on the Cultural Institute, as well as the museum’s archaeologically significant interiors in
Shang Period bronze head with Mask with Gold Foil from Sanxingdui Museum
Museum View of Sanxingdui Museum
Zooming forward a few millennia,
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCACAA)
, located in Hangzhou, is unveiling more than 100 pieces of artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries. One highlight from this collection is
Pan Tianshou’s Flower-and-Bird Album
from the late 1930s. His expressive brush and ink paintings combine the lyricism of formal traditional Chinese painting with the dynamism of modern art. See every detail from his masterful brushstrokes up close:
Admire the details up close from Pan Tianshou’s Flower-and-bird Album, a multi-panel scroll from the Museum of Contemporary Art, China Art Academy
Another modern art museum, the
Today Art Museum
in Beijing, has uploaded more than 700 items and 17 exhibitions online. The collection includes many highlights from the forerunners of contemporary Chinese art, including virtual exhibitions on Xu Bing’s monumental
Phoenix aerial project
and his signature laughing men:
Scenes of Daily Life of the Neo-Asian by Yue Minjun from the Today Art Museum
Other partners launching exhibits today include the
Opium War Museum
China Modern Contemporary Art Document
in Hong Kong. A place that UNESCO put on its watch list, Pokfulam Village is the recipient of several preservation grants. The exhibit features a
unique Street View capture
to help digitally preserve one of Hong Kong’s only surviving historic villages, as well as photos from the village’s earliest days.
Constructing the Fire Dragon, a traditional craft practiced by residents of Hong Kong’s Pokfulam Village
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
Hunan Provincial Museum
, and the
Jinsha Site Museum
are also adding exhibits to their existing collections with the Cultural Institute.
It might take you a while to explore five millennia of Chinese art and culture, but we hope these exhibits from the Google Cultural Institute will help get you started.
Posted by Amit Sood, Director of the Google Cultural Institute
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