25
Apr
08

Chinese Trumpet Creeper-shaped Ornaments for Inlay Mutton-fat Jade, and Other Delights

Despite the fact that they’ve decided not to allow Allison to stay at their place as of the beginning of June, Allison’s host parents offered to take the two of us out to the Capital Museum of Beijing. (For the full story, check her blog.)

Beijing has about as many museums as you might expect the capital city of the world’s most populous nation to have, but Allison and I had yet to visit a single one yet. This one seems to be focused on the history of Beijing itself, at least, up until the end of the Xing Dynasty and beginning of the Republican era in 1912. It used to be in an old Buddhist temple, but it’s now housed in a new exercise of architectural insanity. You might call the building Lovecraftian, as the bulk of exhibits are in a cylindrical tower of non-Euclidean geometry, where spending too much time would drive you insane with its very shape.

But words can only tell so much of the story, so as with the Tiananmen Square visit, I’ve posted all of the photos I took up on Flickr. Much of the Museum allows cameras, so unlike most museums, I have plenty of photos of the visits. Click below, and you’ll see one of the Lovecraftian corridors, a view of the outside with Allison and I posing, statues from a visiting exhibit of indigenous Chilean arts, a faux-bamboo jungle indoors, the “One World, One Dream” exhibit of art gifted to the People’s Republic by foreign embassies, and my personal favorite, “Chinese-trumpet-creeper-shaped Ornament for Inlay Mutton-fat jade.” I knew my trip to China was worth it when I saw that!

Oh, and we were posing almost directly into the sun, so that’s why it may look like Allison and I have weird looks on our faces.

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