Painting Show 1
This painting show was held in Lu Xun Acadmy of Fine Arts. It is one of the top Acadmy College of Fine Arts in China. All the paintings on this show are painted by the professors of this College.
The statury of left picture is Lu Xun. He is a famous writer in contemporaneous China. This college is also named from him.
Just a minute in the Imperial Palace
"Cultural Heritage Managment"
A common accusation of Chinese museums is that they exploit the cultural heritage without really providing anything educational in return.
Shenyang's Imperial Palace is, in general, a significant exception to this, and although the only English language guide (published in 2004)has possibly the worst English ever written....making it virtually unreadable...there are whole parts of thecomplex turned over to educating visitors.
This education doesn't just cover the predictable history of the complex, although it does this very well, but it also contains some excellent displays on cutural heritage management.
The photo shows the eleven layers of protective coating used on the wooden pillars in the palace, and clearly they are now using traditional methods and traditional materials. Gone are the days when a man would be dispatched to the local hardware shop for a 5 litre can of "Red #245" to slosh on the pillars with a grubby paintbrush!
The photo on the Shenyang home page shows a smal model showing how the wooden beams lock together to create a wider and stronger roof, so typical of traditional Chinese architecture.
Unfortunately, the cultural heritage management displays do not have English language explanatory panels, only in Chinese. This is about the only part of the complex where the information is not translated into English.
The cultural heritage displays are in the halls either side of the Qingning Hall on the upper level.
"The walls of the Taimiao temple"
Maybe I just haven't noticed them elsewhere, but the walls of the Taimiao temple seem to be very unusual, in that they have sloped top edges, and what seems to be free space under the eaves.
Although the photo just shows the blank west wallof the temple, it is actually strikingly beautiful in its simplicity.
"A Qing drinks vending machine?"
The authorities at Shenyang seemed to be doing so well, but I suppose it was too god to last.
At two locations in the compex, these horrendous commercial drinks vending machines sit in desperate contrast to the beauty of the complex. How crass can you get?
At least the Starbucks in Beijing's Forbidden City blends into the architecture and the scenery through downplaying the logo (only on the glass window), but these bright blue boxes are totally alien. Shocking!
"Errrrr...and what's this then?"
I'm not sure if I am complaining unnecessarily, because Shenyang is doubtlessly one of the better managed cultural heritage sites in China, but this (photo) worried me.
What is going on?
It *Iooks* as if an original wall has been knocked down to make way for some kind of brand new wall. I suspect it is the foundation for a 'dragon screen' because this is right opposite the current main tourist entrance to the complex (just out of sight to the right). If so, it is completely inappropriate and actually contravenes Article 6 of the Conventionconcerning the Preservation of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, under which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List.
I really hope that I am wrong on this, but.....
There is not a lot that the authorities can do about it, but the amount of graffiti at Chinese heritage sites always shocks me. The photo opposite has been altered to show the scale of the problem (the entire area is just covered in scratched messages, images, pictures). It would be preferable if these people just urinated on the wall or shat on the ground by the wall, because at least that could be washed away with a hose, but scratched graffiti stays for ever.
"Just a quiet corner...."
....in front of the Wensu Pavilion, showing just how attractive it is at Shenyang's Imperial Palace.
It is not easy for the SACH at national, provincial or local level in China. As in many countries, cultural heritage suffers from a lack of funding unless it can 'earn a tourist dollar' and al of us are learning all the time how to do this in a manner that enhances and protects the cultural and natural heritage of our world. China has many of the world's top experts in cultural heritage, and right down at local level dedicated curators, archaeologists, craftsmen/women and heritage staff are working to improve the situattion, but there is still a long way to go. I have complained in this section about a number of issues at Shenyang but know that things are looking up for cultural heritage in China if half the practices at Shenyang are replicated elsewhere.