Catalogue from the exhibition co-presented by the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Museum and the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong from 15 February to 13 of May 2007.
"The exhibition is so rich in content that it provides a survey of cultural exchange between China and the West via the Silk Road since the Tang dynasty. In ancient times, there were several branches of the Silk Road extending over the continents of Europe and Asia, representing almost one-third of the total area of the world. Of all routes, that of the northern steppe, which originated in the westward migration of the northern Xiongnu tribe is the oldest. Cultural exchange between China and the West increased rapidly during the Tang dynasty, and was unprecedentedly active during the Yuan dynasty, when Genghis Khan and his descendants followed the steppe route through Western Asia and Europe. During the development of the ancient steppe regions in northern China, its inhabitants did not only follow the silk routes to liaise with the West, but also developed frequent contacts with the central plains of China. Therefore, the northern steppe regions influenced the central plains culture, and that of the West, while also absorbing influences from both these regions. The cultural relics displayed in this exhibitions are the products of this long process of multicultural exchange. This exhibition will feature eighty extraordinary relics dating to the Turkic period (552 - 745), the Qidan period (916 - 1125) and the Yuan dynasty (1271 - 1368), to show the unique features of the steppe culture. Many of the relics are formal expressions of the integration of the material cultures of the steppes, and that of the West. This is and exhibition organized exclusively to demonstrate the unique characteristics of nomadic civilization." excerpt from the foreword by Liu Zhaohe, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (Deputy Director, Hall of Culture and Director, Bureau of Cultural Relics).
Published by University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007
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