"Exhibition of Four Great Discoveries of Ancient Chinese Documents in the Early 20th Century" Unveiled at the National Library of China

Wandering among the classics to explore the Chinese context

  The oracle bone with the largest size and the largest number of words in the National Library of China, one of the earliest surviving copies of Dunhuang posthumous writings, the only complete secret storage box in the Qing Dynasty, and the earliest large-scale all-sky star map that has been handed down in China so far... A few days ago, "two The Exhibition of Four Great Discoveries of Ancient Chinese Documents in the Early Tenth Century is open to the public at the National Library (National Museum of Classics).

In each piece of precious exhibits, the audience embarked on a journey of tracing the origin of Chinese history and exploring the Chinese context.

  The oracle bone inscriptions of the Yin and Shang Dynasties, the Juyan bamboo slips, the posthumous writings of Dunhuang, and the cabinet archives of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are the "four major discoveries" of ancient Chinese literature at the beginning of the last century, and they have been collected by many institutions and museums for a long time.

For the first time, this exhibition brings together documents collected in various places. The exhibition area is nearly 3,000 square meters, and a total of 249 kinds of 382 pieces of precious cultural relics of various types are gathered.

  Taste the ancient Chinese culture

  "Congratulations, Your Majesty, I got a pig in the field hunting today!" In the dark hall, the hanging curtains around created a mysterious atmosphere.

Standing in front of the black "divination table", the audience clicks to select the corresponding content, and the animation of the tortoise shell being roasted and cracked is simulated on the big screen in front of it, and combined with the voice playback, it makes people feel as if they have traveled back to the ancient Shang Dynasty. A grand divination scene.

  Classics and documents are important carriers of history and culture, and play an irreplaceable role in the inheritance of civilization.

From Oracle Bone Inscriptions, the earliest mature characters in China so far, to Juyan Han Bamboo Slips that vividly show the work and life of border guards in the Han Dynasty, to Dunhuang posthumous writings known as "Encyclopedias of the Middle Ages in China", and the number of preservation in Chinese history The largest and most complete archives of ancient dynasties—Ming and Qing archives. In this exhibition, the audience can appreciate the system and culture from the ancient Yin and Shang Dynasties to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and feel the vivid Chinese civilization up close.

  In the special exhibition hall of "Oracle Bone in Yin Ruins", there is a small fragment——Oracle Bone 6006.

This seemingly inconspicuous oracle bone was combined with other oracle bone fragments by oracle bone inscription expert Dong Zuobin to determine the lineage of the Shang king.

It not only confirms that the relevant records in "Historical Records Yinbenji" are basically correct, but also corrects the sequence of Shang kings recorded in "Historical Records Yinbenji", which solves the major doubts about the lineage of Shang kings.

  In addition, there is also a tortoise plastron fragment oracle bone 2174 that records Shang Wang’s field hunting and hunting of elk and rabbits. Oracle bone 5405 is the largest and has the largest number of characters among the oracle bones in the library. It is 43.5 cm long and 24 cm wide, with a total of 218 characters. One of the food records.

  Ming and Qing archives are multifaceted records of the social development history of China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The "Ming and Qing Archives" special exhibition hall selects multiple types of precious archives for centralized display: the Qing Dynasty Golden Chamber used to hold the emperor's hadith, records and other precious classics, and the Ming Chongzhen Seventh Year, which was surveyed and designed by Xu Guangqi and Western missionary Tang Ruowang "The Atlas of the North and the South of the Equator" (imitation), the small gold list of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty (imitation), the liberal arts gold list of the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty (imitation)...The rich exhibits show that the archives are witnessing major events, transmitting information, It plays an irreplaceable role in recording life and recording history.

  Feel the joy of life of the ancients

  How did people in the Shang Dynasty call the name of Sifang Fengshen?

How did the border guards in the Han Dynasty discover the traces of the enemy, and what was their life like when they were not on guard?

After Tubo occupied Shazhou in the second year of Zhenyuan in the Tang Dynasty, what kind of resentment and resentment did the people of Shazhou, who lived in Hanzhi, experience?

What wishes would the emperors of the Qing Dynasty make when they "start writing on New Year's Day"?

These questions may all be answered in this exhibition.

  From the classics, what we can witness is not only the macro system, but also the life of the ancients.

If the former constitutes the skeleton of history, the latter provides the flesh and blood of civilization.

Through these details, we can get a glimpse of the sentimentality and interest of the ancients.

  In the exhibition hall of "Juyan Han Bamboo Slips", there are several "handwriting slips".

Its interpretation has no special meaning, just repetition of some words.

But these slightly naive strokes are the traces of the Han Dynasty border guards who insisted on learning in a difficult environment.

There is no specific "school" in the army, and border guards can only ask comrades who are literate, knowledgeable, and able to count for advice, and use abandoned bamboo slips to practice copying.

  In addition, there are exhibits such as "Clothing Slips", "'Barley' Slips" and "Salt Begging Slips" showing the logistical support and living conditions of border guards and soldiers, together with the miniature scenes that restore Juyan's landforms, as well as portrait bricks, stone portraits, murals and paintings of the Han Dynasty. The bamboo slips and other elements make the audience feel as if they can feel the magnificent and desolate frontier scenery, and experience the details of the life of Juyan garrison two thousand years ago.

  Dunhuang posthumous writings are of great significance in showing the situation of Chinese society, economy, culture, art, religion, medicine and cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries in the Middle Ages.

The special exhibition hall of "Dunhuang posthumous scriptures" has copied the earliest copy of the National Library of China in the twelfth year of the founding of Xiliang, "Four Parts of the First Sub-Volume III", and completely preserved the scroll-bound book form of "Great Prajna Paramita Sutra Volume 100" Fifty-seven", the only copy in China during the Tubo rule period "Li Ling Bianwen", the 20th year of Sui Kaihuang's writing "Renwang Prajna Paramita Sutra Volume II", the Tang Longshuo three-year writing "Spring and Autumn Guliang Biography of Duke Huan II" and other exhibits. The Dunhuang posthumous writings are a fusion of Chinese and Western, a colorful medieval world.

  At the same time, the exhibition also specially organizes the binding form of Dunhuang posthumous writings.

Most of the binding forms of Chinese ancient paper books can be found in Dunhuang posthumous books or prototypes.

The audience can feast their eyes here and see different binding forms such as scroll binding, Vatican folder binding, sutra folding binding and sewing binding.

  Diversified Interactive Immersive Experience

  This exhibition attaches great importance to "immersion".

According to Gu Heng, Director of the Exhibition Department of the National Library of China, in order to allow the audience to obtain a better experience, in addition to different exhibition halls in terms of color tones and exhibition elements, there are also several multimedia interactions, so that the audience can better feel the millennium context. .

  The themed exhibition hall of "Yin Ruins Oracle Bone" has designed special scenes such as "three-dimensional picture scroll", "surname belongs to Lin" and "simulated divination scene area". By using the three-dimensional restoration of space and the combination of sound and light, the audience can feel the atmosphere of Yin Shang at close range.

In front of the electronic interactive screen, a small game of "pairing" oracle bone inscriptions and modern Chinese simplified characters attracted the attention of many audiences.

"This character is a pig under the house, so it should be the character for 'home'." "The character for 'deer' has long horns, and the ancients drew it really like it!" "The Chinese characters I use every day are so similar to those of the ancients three thousand years ago." Similar!" Many viewers couldn't help sighing while experiencing it.

  The special exhibition hall of "Dunhuang Posthumous Letters" selects patterns, Buddha statues and other elements of Dunhuang grottoes in different periods as the background, and uses classic cave murals in a large area to create a bright and magnificent Dunhuang style.

The exhibition hall is also equipped with a projection knob bookshelf, which combines the projection with the physical bookshelf. The audience can turn the knob to read the Dunhuang posthumous writings and get a simulated experience of flipping through ancient scrolls.

  According to reports, in the future, the National Library of China will also enhance the interaction with the audience through live broadcast activities, online exhibitions, etc.; jointly develop the exhibition "Online Surreal Exhibition Experience Project - Ancient Books Travel Notes" jointly with ByteDance Public Welfare, select important There are nearly 30 exhibits, using VR technology to vividly tell the stories of the exhibits, deeply combining the display of cultural relics with VR technology, and using virtual reality technology to "live" ancient books.

"This will be a very novel VR exhibition, which is worth looking forward to." Gu Heng said.

  "People's Daily Overseas Edition" (Version 07, February 8, 2023)