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Old Chinese pith paintings exhibited in GZ metro

BY :丝路云帆

UPDATED :May 12, 2020


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A special exhibition, featuring Chinese pith paintings in Guangzhou during 18th and 19th centuries, kicks off today (May 11) in the passageway of the Yuexiu Park Station of Metro Line 2 in Guangzhou.

The exhibition is co-organized by Guangzhou Museum and Guangzhou Metro, as part of the museum's events to celebrate the International Museum Day on May 18. The exhibition runs through June 10.

Divided into three parts, the month-long exhibition displays a selection of image exhibits of Chinese pith painting works from Guangzhou Museum, together with a bunch of historical materials from home and abroad, to fully showcase the glorious culture of pith paintings to visitors.

Pith paper sheets are made from the stem of rice-paper plant (also known as Tetrapanax papyriferum), a plant once common in Canton (present-day Guangzhou), with sponge-like tissue inside, and can be generously colored with mineral pigments. Pith paintings were first sold in Guangzhou as popular "souvenirs from the East" mainly to foreign merchants and envoys in the Qing Dynasty.

Their motifs included every aspect of life at Guangzhou port, including social life, trade activities, cultural events and folk customs, which provided an important window for foreigners to learn about the urban lifestyle of Guangzhou and the landscape along the Pearl River at that time. 

It is expected that through the exhibition, visitors can have a glimpse into the culture of pith painting, and get to know more about the folk culture and lifestyle of Guangzhou people in the Qing Dynasty.

Online courses and exhibitions themed on pith painting will also be held by the museum for citizens to learn more about the lost art form. Visitors who take an active part in these online events may be given a set of souvenirs from Guangzhou Museum. Follow the official WeChat account of Guangzhou Museum (guangzhoubwg) to get more information.

Editor: Yuan