Culture Beat: Gandhara art exhibition
Published: Apr 12, 2023 11:18 PM
Some of the exhibits on display Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Some of the exhibits on display Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Gandhara art exhibition

An exhibition of ancient Gandhara art is now underway at the Palace Museum in Beijing. 

The exhibition showcases a total of 203 artifacts, of which 173 come from seven museums in Pakistan and 30 from the Palace Museum. Ancient Gandhara was a thriving center of trade along the Silk Road. 

Gandhara archaeological sites mainly spread across the southern end of the present-day Hindu Kush and Karakorum mountain ranges in northern Pakistan. This also is an area of the ancient Silk Road that intersected with Mediterranean civilization, Iranian civilization and Indian civilization.  

China and Pakistan are both ancient civilizations on the Silk Road with a long history of cultural and artistic exchanges. Historical records show that between 400AD and 630AD, ancient Chinese monks traveled to Pakistan and left written materials about Gandhara culture. Chinese artifacts, inscriptions, and coins have also been discovered in many archaeological sites in Pakistan, giving remarkable evidence of historical China-Pakistan exchanges.

The exhibition, lasting until June 15, aims to demonstrate the artistic charm of Gandhara culture and its far-reaching influence on China and East Asia.

'Journey to the West'

It is hard to define the new movie Journey to the West. For many comedy lovers, its over-exploration of realism gives the film a layer of sadness; yet for science fiction fans, the movie, with a theme of searching for alien life, is not scientific enough. 

For most people, the protagonist Tang Zhijun, a lonely and frustrated editor, is a typical paranoid outsider who has difficulty having an ordinary social life. With his passion for alien life, Tang then decides to take a journey to find extraterrestrials with a group of like-minded friends.

The movie took its name directly from one of China's Four Great Classical Novels Journey to the West

Just like Tang Sanzang, the protagonist in the movie is also a person with "great love and lofty ideals."