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Yangtze delta culture, tea trade on show at museum

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

Cai Qin, deputy director of Zhejiang Provincial Museum, was curator of the first Jiangnan (the area south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River) aesthetics exhibition in 2018, when she put together the lifestyle showcase for a cultural festival in Taipei and Taitung in Taiwan. The show went on tour of South Korea, Russia and Bulgaria before it arrived on the Chinese mainland.

The Yangtze River Delta, a key part of the Jiangnan area, has since the Song Dynasty (960-1279) been an important region due to its developed economy and cultural significance. The aesthetic value of Jiangnan art and craft has been largely reflected in the lifestyles of ancient Chinese literati, Cai says.

Among the highlights of the two exhibitions is a wine vessel, with qingbai ((bluish white) glaze, which dates to the 11th century. The pot is 27 centimeters tall and stands in a bowl that is shaped like a blossoming lotus of seven petals.

"People used to pour hot water in the bowl to keep the wine in the pot warm," says Lei Xiufo, deputy director of Anhui Museum.

The object was unearthed in a tomb in Susong county in Anhui province in 1963 and has since been one of the most popular ceramics on display at Anhui Museum.

"We agreed to bring this precious object to Shanghai because we wanted to show our support to Shanghai, where life is back to normal after the recent COVID-19 outbreak," he adds.

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