written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

""Wahxen Figures"" and "Intangible Heritage" Exhibits at the National Museum

On Wednesday I went to the National Museum. (Actually the above photo is not the museum, but it looks just like it, so...) I paid 30 RMB for about 6 or 7 exhibits as indicated on the ticket, but in reality there were only 3 exhibits. At the entrance of each exhibit they waved the entry ticket at me and punched my card about 5-8 times, three times five is fifeteen, but I only went into 3 halls, anyway. They also make everyone check their bags. You must check everything except the camera. In fact I was urged to take the camera, which is almost opposite from any museums I have ever been to. So, I did as the err..Chinese do and took pictures of most of the stuff on display. Here are the Highlights:

Exquisite silk and jewelry work from the Mongol minority of Inner Mongolia. (mannequins from Dillard's).

Super awesome portable deck chair.

Super complicated loom. Actually, I would tell you where its from, indeed, where any of this stuff is really from and the interesting reasons why they are on display, if I knew, but only one of the exhibits was in English (Treasures from the washrooms of the Qu Dynasty).

Chicken Ship. I think the paddles are adorable.

There were some big pictures of some of China's 56 minority races. I find the minority cultures terribly interesting as do most of the Han Chinese (majority). Tibetans, the most well-known minority. In fact all of the "minorities" have a very distinst culture and language indecipherable from Mandarin Chinese. Some are very isolated from modern culture, yet they are thought of as Chinese all the same. There is an effort to preserve this heritage on the part of the Chinese government, but this project might take the form of anthropological tourism. Not entirely a bad thing, I suppose, but its one method of preservation.

3 of the 10 Different, Important Government Officials. It's my suspecion that they made the same government official and just changed his expression several times or gave him a mustache and/or glasses.

< Karl Marx, father of Proletariat Revolution.
>>Jackie Chan, father of kicking ass.

Mao Zedong (right) and Zhao Enlai (or Jiang Zemin or Deng Xiaoping) I am supposed to know this!

1992 Chinese Olympic Medalist in Dart Gun. There were a whole bevy of Chinese athletes, including some little known over-seas Chinese athletes, such as David Beckham, Michael Jordan, and Pele. As one exits the Chinese National Museum Wahxen Figure Exhibit foreigners, Americans particularly, may find themselves refreshed to be greeted by some grotesque likenesses of some vaguely recognizable Hollywood stars, such as Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, and Albert Einstein. And the Chinese's favorite American, and the latest addition to the hall as indicated by his marginal placement by the exit door, Bill Gates! I didn't get the picture for some reason, even though many people were taking his picture.

The most immediate room upon exiting the Wahxen Exhibit.

My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson