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 13 December 2008 to 15 of March 2009.
"The northwest Silk Road was the most important overland route linking ancient China with the outside world in the one thousand five hundred-period, spanning the Han (206 BCE-CE 220) to the Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, Over this long period, foreigners and other non-Chinese ethnic minorities entered Gansu via Xinjiang, turning southeast towards Ningxia and Shaansi, and the ancient Tang capital of Chang'an. The Silk Road was the result of political and military endeavour. Begun during the Han dynasty to combat the Huns, it was also important during the Tang dynasty (618-907) in opposing the Turks. The Ningxia section of the route had particular strategic significance because of its proximity to the political and economic centre of Chang'an, thus control over the area was hotly contested between the Han Chinese and non-Chinese ethnic minorities. Relics found along the Silk Road include Indian Buddhist sculptures, Persian-Sassanian motifs and images of the whirling dervish dance of Samarkand. Buddhist painting by Cao Zhongda, a Sogdian from Kabudhan (Gubdan), north of the Zerafshan River, of the Northern Qi dynasty (550-577), are characterized by the depiction of pleated garments that drape the body closely, as if the figure were emerging from water. This "Cao Style" greatly influenced Chinese Buddhist art." excerpt from the foreword by YEUNG Chun-rong, Director, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, 11 November 2008.
Published by University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2008
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