Monday, October 6, 2014

Ningxia Museum (China Trip Post III)

My first two posts about my trip to China with my husband were easy to choose and write about. Today, however, I started struggling with which other experiences from the trip were worth sharing here on my art blog. I first wrote about things that happened Xi'an and then about Beijing, so it would be fair to write about the third city where we spent most of our time - Yinchuan.

For those of you who've never heard of it... Yinchuan is the capital and largest city in the Ningxia province in China. It also happens to be where my husband lived for two years, so the city and friends who live there are quite close to his heart (and now mine too).

On the morning of Friday, September 5, 2014 my husband took me to visit the Ningxia Museum. The admission was free, there was a surprisingly good audio guide in English, and he was glad to see many nice improvements to the collections since he had last seen it. There were enough things that this artist/printmaker geeked out about, so I choose to share this experience with you all today.

We were first greeted by what we believe was a fake Chihuly sculpture (which was oddly similar to the real one in the atrium of our familiar Milwaukee Art Museum back home).

Besides the decorations on the building's exterior, there were also nice details in the main atrium (a nod to the strong Muslim influence of the local Hui people).

My poor husband did his best to get a photograph of the Hui papercuts for me in the dim lighting. 

No surprise here, but I geeked out the most over old woodcuts in the museum's various collections. I'm sorry that I don't know too much about them because there wasn't much info from the audio guide, and the labels were all in Chinese. The first two are small wood fragments (4x6" or smaller) of wood blocks, carved with old Western Xia characters. The last three were in the Hui collection, and in various sizes. 

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