At least 8,000 years ago, our ancestors gradually came to know the beauty of jade through the process of grinding stone tools. Following this discovery, they dissected the uncut pieces of jade, carved the jade into objects and created a unique jade art. The ancient Chinese people believed that jade was elegant and graceful, and condensed the spirit of heaven and earth. Therefore, jade not only had aesthetic value but also acquired both sacred and human qualities. In the pre-Qin period (before 221 BC), jade was used to express our ancestors' devout religious feelings, symbolize wealth and power and serve as the embodiment of etiquette and moral sentiment. After the Qin and Han dynasties (after AD 220), jade gradually lost its sacred aura and became a secular treasure for the masses. It was increasingly used in ordinary life, carrying people's good wishes for health, happiness and good fortune.
In 2010, the National Cultural Heritage Administration allotted 80,000 ancient Chinese jade artifacts to the collections of the National Museum of China. This exhibition selects jade objects dating from ancient times to the Qing Dynasty and is bolstered by a number of specimens that are rarely displayed to the public. We hope that every visitor to this special exhibition can feel the national spirit, consciousness, tastes and pursuits contained in the jade, comprehend the splendid national culture on display, and appreciate its unique and enduring charm.