The ancient Shu civilization shines in the creations of Chinese artists


A bronze standing figure from Sanxingdui Photo: VCG

A toy based on cultural relics of Sanxingdui A bronze standing figure of Sanxingdui Photos: VCG

Toys based on Sanxingdui cultural relics Photo: VCG

Editor’s note:

Carriers of a nation’s genes and spirit, cultural relics and heritages are irreplaceable resources for a flourishing civilization. A large number of Chinese relics have become more popular over the past 10 years and have made people around the world know more about Chinese culture. The Global Times will feature a number of these “star” artifacts in this series, bringing to life cultural relics stored in museums, heirlooms on display across the vast land, and texts written in ancient books.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping said, Chinese civilization, together with the colorful civilizations of other countries, should provide humanity with proper spiritual direction and strong spiritual impetus.

Today we explore the ruins of Sanxingdui, which represent the ancient Shu civilization of thousands of years ago, but which has also found a place in modern life through creative creations by Chinese artists.

Giant bronze masks, bronze standing statues, golden masks and even silk items…a growing number of amazing cultural relics from the mysterious ancient Shu civilization have been discovered in the Sanxingdui Ruins of Sichuan Province, which were considered a treasure trove of inspiration by many. Chinese artists.

A mythical four-winged beast has been discovered during the latest excavation of the Sanxingdui ruins, the Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. The beast carries a sacred tree on its back, which reflects “the different mindset of the ancient Shu people at that time”, an archaeologist has speculated. Just like other relics excavated from the ruins, the unusual bronze mythical beast is sure to inspire artists to come up with creative cultural products.

Previously, Chinese fashion designers created clothes with various patterns inspired by Sanxingdui cultural relics. Other workers dreamed up snacks such as mooncakes shaped like bronze figures found at the ruins, while architects, graphic designers and artists experimented with ways to incorporate the mysterious ancient civilization into the modern Art.

“Designs inspired by traditional Chinese culture have been a trend in recent years because beyond function, they also have sentimental ties and can be treated as containers of our love and trust in Chinese culture. Sanxingdui ruins played an important role in this,” Huang Qingsui, an ethnic Zhuang art designer who has built a database of traditional Chinese decorative patterns, told the Global Times.

A gift for artists

“Sanxingdui bronzes are very special. They look very avant-garde even today, and even surpass many contemporary works of art creatively,” said Wang Shenyong, chairman of the Meticulous Painting Society of Sichuan Province.

Inspired by a bronze figure from Sanxingdui, Wang used a full range of techniques drawn from Chinese painting traditions and mineral pigments such as cinnabar to create several paintings, as reported by Chuanguan News.

U-CUTE team artists deployed digital images and smart language technology to endow a Sanxingdui bronze mask with dynamic facial expressions and some basic language abilities, creating a bronze mask that could say ” great” and “comfortable” in Sichuan dialect in response. to questions from visitors.

The mysterious ruins of Sanxingdui have also inspired the architecture industry to design a new museum that introduces the ancient Shu civilization to people today.

Renowned Chinese architectural firm MAD has submitted a design proposal for the Cultural Heritage Museum of Ancient Sanxingdui Shu in 2022.

Called “The Eyes of Sanxingdui,” the museum is a futuristic building that features a group of spindle-shaped wooden structures that look like eyes sticking out of the ground.

The wooden structures resemble the protruding eyes of face masks discovered in the ruins of Sanxingdui. Company director Ma Yansong explained that the design has the symbolic meaning of “unknown” and “enlightenment.”

Cultural relics unearthed from the ruins of Sanxingdui have motivated designers to come up with new designs for everything from ice cream and cosmetics to digital collections and toys.

“The continuous excavation of cultural relics in the ruins of Sanxingdui is like opening blind boxes. Each new cultural relic discovered is brand new material for design. The design of Sanxingdui cultural products offers endless possibilities,” said Feng. Shixiong, founder of a studio that designs Sanxingdui creative products. , told the Global Times.

Common interest

Sanxingdui-related artworks have not only attracted national attention, but also captured the interest of foreign fans of Chinese culture.

In recent years, some cultural relics from the Sanxingdui ruins have been exhibited in countries such as France, Japan and Italy, while related products such as a Chinese-English bilingual mobile game that allows users to do virtual excavations in the Ruins were started to allow foreign fans to better understand the Shu culture.

“Sanxingdui ruins have a unique vibe that comes from its cultural characteristics. However, designers often just portray the atmosphere of the site using modern designs instead of copying and pasting the more common designs from the culture” , said Wang Yizhong, an architect in Beijing. the Global Times.

“Such modern interpretations of ancient culture also show how history can continue to influence people in the future,” Wang remarked.

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