Opening Ceremony of Gupta Art Exhibition
“Across the Silk Road:Gupta sculpture and their Chinese counterparts between 400 and 700 AD” at the Palace Museum, Beijing
27 September 2016
An exhibition of Gupta-era sculptures was inaugurated today, 27 September 2016, at the Palace Museum, Beijing by Ambassador Vijay Gokhale and Director Shan Jixiang of the Palace Museum. The exhibition has been organized by the Palace Museum, Beijing and the National Museum, New Delhi, and includes 56 sculptures from India dating to 400-700 AD. These sculptures have been collected from 9 museums across India, namely the National Museum, New Delhi, Government Museum Mathura, State Museum Lucknow, Allahabad Museum, Bharat Kala Bhavan, Varanasiin Uttar Pradesh, Museum and Picture Gallery, Vadodara, Gujarat, ChhatrapatiShivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai and Government Museum Kota,Rajasthan.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Ambassador Gokhale observed that the“Dharmaratna Marga” forged by earlier generations of Indian scholar-monks, had become the channel for the flow of cultural and intellectual ideas between India, and China and Central Asia. New techniques in mathematics, medicine,arts and sculpture were translated into new artistic and scientific discoveries by China under the Tang dynasty. Fa Xian and Xuan Zang travelled from Chang'an to Nalanda along the Dharmaratna Marg to collect the great Buddhist works. The Mogao Caves were the pinnacle of India and China’s cultural exchanges. Building a better understanding about our historical exchanges would enhance our current efforts to build the 21st century as the Asian Century.
Director Shan Jixiang noted that China and India started their cultural exchanges thousands of years ago, and this reached a peak during 400-700 CE period. He described the sculptures of that era as “twin lotuses from the same stalk”, and remarked that bringing these sculptures together was a grand occasion for bilateral cultural exchange.
The exhibition will continue in Beijing from 28th September to 28th December 2016,and will be held in Fujian Museum from 28th January to 31st April 2017, in Zhejiang Museum from 1st June to 31st August 2017,and in Sichuan Museum from 1st October to 31st December 2017.The exhibits will be returned afterwards to the National Museum, New Delhi.