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Yangtze delta culture, tea trade on show at museum

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-12 08:22

A visitor admires cultural relics at an exhibition showcasing the beauty of Chinese civilization in the Yangtze River Delta region at the Shanghai History Museum.[Photo provided by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Two exhibitions at the Shanghai History Museum are showcasing the beauty of Chinese civilization in the Yangtze River Delta region since ancient times.

Life Aesthetics of Jiangnan and Green Gold: Maritime Tea Commerce Between China and Europe From the 17th to 19th Centuries both kicked off at the museum on July 28.

Featuring 117 cultural relics from three museums-the Shanghai History Museum, Zhejiang Provincial Museum and Anhui Museum, the first exhibition, which runs through Aug 28, shows various aspects of fine living in ancient China, from music appreciation to board games, art and poetry.

The exhibition on tea commerce, which features 145 cultural relics, was created by the China National Tea Museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and the Shanghai History Museum, with support from the China Maritime Museum.

Tea leaves were among the most important exports from China to Europe from the beginning of the 17th century until the 19th century. Presenting tea samples from shipwrecks, Chinese and Western tea sets and packages, as well as paintings depicting the tea trade with Western countries, the exhibition will run until Oct 30. Drinking tea has been an important part of everyday life in the Yangtze River Delta region, where a wide variety of tea species are produced and consumed.

"We decided to present the two exhibitions side by side so as to show the traditional everyday life of the region, while at the same time revealing the influence of its culture all over the world," says Zhou Qunhua, director of the Shanghai History Museum.

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