Bronzes are the most representative material remains of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The characters engraved on their surface, called jijinwen or jinwen (bronzeware inscriptions) in Chinese, represent an important link in the development of Chinese characters and serve as significant material evidence of historical events in ancient China. Shaanxi is one of the major birthplaces of the Chinese nation and Chinese civilization, while Baoji is renowned as the "home of bronzeware." A large number of representative and important objects have been excavated in the region over the years. Charting the historical development of Chinese characters, jinwen are preceded by jiaguwen (oracle bone inscriptions) and followed by xiaozhuan (small seal script). Their calligraphic style is diverse and brilliant. They not only recorded many major historical events, but also reflected the rites and cultural preferences of different periods, regions and ethnic groups, portraying the evolutionary path of ancient Chinese society.
The exhibition is divided into three sections, systematically displaying the art, stories and wisdom contained in jinwen. There are more than 140 selected bronzes on display, of which nearly half are first-class national cultural artifacts, including a batch of highly representative pieces. These include hezun, the famous ritual wine vessel from the early Western Zhou Dynasty that bears the earliest written record of the Chinese characters "中国" (Central Kingdom),the precious national treasure ligui, which records the exact time of King Wu of Zhou's conquest of the Shang, and the musical instrument qingongbo, which can verify and deepen our understanding of the period and boasts great value for historical research.
Through the exhibition we hope that a wide audience can acquire a deep appreciation for the exquisite casting technique of ancient Chinese bronzeware, gain in-depth knowledge about the broad and profound culture of bronzeware and jinwen, and develop a better understanding of the ideological and moral essence of China's fine traditional culture.