A Moving Masterpiece - The Song Dynasty As Living Art

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Hi Huneybees,


I'm always a museum visitor, even when I go overseas! I love learning about the different history, cultures, arts and how the past affects us now. But sometimes, it gets a little dry when it's always the guide narrating to you when you look at the drawings or artifacts.


Don't you ever wish you don't have to squeeze with the crowds just to look at a little detail of drawing on paper? Well, the amazing people Singapore Huading and Singex brought in "A Moving Masterpiece - The Song Dynasty as Living Art"! With amazing 20th Century technology, the magnificent Ancient Song City of "Qing Ming Shang He Tu" comes to life before your very eyes!



The original "Qing Ming Shang He Tu" painting showcased the best of life in the Song Dynasty - one of the golden ages of China. For the international debut of the exhibition, the organisers will enrish the visitors' experience through the creation of a unique pre-show and post-show hall that will have educational and interactive elements.

Don't forget to collect your audio guides! It comes in many languages!
Sound the 'gong' and you are ready to move on!
Let's go!
Pre Show Hall
An immerse experience of the Song Dynasty and the elements that make it a vibrant capital city. One can learn about the achievements of this ancient city and its innovations and relevance to our live today. I love how I can learn about the lives of ancient people and the festive that they celebrate. There are some celebrations that I don't even know about!




Main Hall
This is where visitors will see an impressive 128m x 6.5m panorama view of the Song Dynasty countryside to city life. There are amazing animations of 1,068 characters going about their daily life from day to night and with the help of the audio guide, one can pinpoint the different happenings on the painting.




I learned about the ancients ways of transportation varies with different social levels. It's amazing how one can immediately differentiate countryside from city life, the way houses were built, the way people move and go about their daily life are so different. Did you know they use to have stick scaffolding on top of building roofs to show that the shops sells wine?

About the painting
Originally painted on a 5.28 metre-long scroll by Chinese imperial court artist Zhang Ze Duan, 
this epic Song Dynasty painting gives us an in-depth view of the lifestyle and society in the 
capital of Bianjing (now known as Kaifeng) during the 12th century. “Qing Ming Shang He Tu” 
stands out from the many customary Chinese paintings due to its panoramic capture of the 
richness of society, from the poor to the wealthy. A classic depiction of a Northern Song era 
painting, it is famous for its aesthetics and accurate geometric depiction of both natural and 
man-made elements. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words, and this painting is a 
valuable lesson in history – giving us a glimpse into the economic, cultural, customary and daily 
life of the Northern Song Dynasty.

Zhang Ze Duan emphasizes the rural scenery as it is the first scene to catch the viewer’s attention. 
As focus gradually shifts to the city, the viewer can appreciate the artist’s intention of showcasing 
the vast rural land with its riches of crops, animals and other resources providing for the prosperity 
of the city and the comforts enjoyed by the city dwellers.

Moving into the capital city, Zhang Ze Duan uses the structural grandeur of the City Gate and its
buzz of activities to delineate the city from the rural areas.

Restaurants, teahouses, craftsmen shops and other small businesses portray the lifestyle 
of the average Song person. The marketplace is another representation used by the artist to 
depict everyday life, with different social classes represented by fortune-tellers, temples, beggars, 
and government officials’ residences.

“Qing Ming” (清明) has several explanations. Some historians have referred “Qing Ming” to a 
location called “Qing Ming Square” (清明坊) in the Song Capital of Kaifeng (开封), others consider 
it a literal reference to the Chinese Qing Ming Festival (清明节), while others attribute it as praise 
of the clean governance of Emperor Song Huizong as “Qing Ming”, which in Chinese means 
“clean and bright”. Similarly, “Shang He” (上河) also has multiple explanations. It could literally 
mean the upper half of the Bian river (the main river in Kaifeng city), or it could refer to the “most 
important river in the country” since it is located under the watchful eyes of the emperor. A last 
explanation is simply going shopping by the riverside.


Thus, “Qing Ming Shang He Tu” has always been accepted to be a painting documenting the peace 
and prosperity enjoyed by the Song Dynasty 900 years ago under Emperor Song Huizong’s reign.

Many re-interpretive copies have surfaced due to the popularity of the the “Qing Ming Shang He Tu”. 
The most prominent paintings, apart from the original painting by Zhang Ze Duan, are one done by 
renowned Ming Dynasty artist Qiu Ying (明代仇英版), and another painted by a group of artists 
during the Qing Dynasty (清院版).


Post-Show Hall
Love the exhibition? Don't miss out on the chance to grab some limited edition memorabilia and also grab some munchies or drinks after 'conquering' 128m!



Sad to say, tomorrow is the last day, so make sure you go catch it before it ends ya? Be prepared for crowds and long queues!



For more details, see their official website: http://www.amovingmasterpiece.com/



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