On November 26, Cates of the Mortal World –An Exhibition of Food Culture jointly organized by the National Museum of China (NMC) and Sichuan Museum was opened. This special traveling exhibition initiated by the NMC, following the Jijin Casting History –Bronzeware in Ancient China in Shenzhen Museum and Five Hundred Years of Writing and Painting Culture in Hebei Museum, is another important attempt to promote the creative transformation and innovative development of fine traditional Chinese culture.
The exhibition is divided into six sections, namely “The first meal cooked by fire”, “Food and ritual”, “Banquet and dance”, “The aftertaste of burning”, “Meals and spoons”, and “Cates in the street”. With valuable cultural relics through multimedia displays including the episodes of Taste in Memory and the audio of take-out food ordering, the exhibition creates a vivid cultural environment to show the development and changes of Chinese food. The exhibition features 118 sets of cultural artifacts, of which 90 sets are from the NMC and 28 sets from Sichuan Museum. Among the exhibits are treasures of the two museums, such as the Pottery Bottle with Pointed Bottom from the Yangshao culture of the Neolithic period, the Nangong Liu Bronze Ding of the Western Zhou dynasty and so forth. Since a large proportion of the exhibits are at the first and second level of preciousness, the NMC sent out professional personnel in charge of display to escort cultural relics to Sichuan Museum, in order to ensure the safety and the quality of the exhibition.
As a Chinese saying goes, people are a reflection of the environment they live in. Chinese people have developed a special love and pursuit of food. The food culture has witnessed the history of Chinese people, from the creative use of fire to the invention of cooking utensils, and from the fusion of regional tastes to the evolution of food fads. We sincerely hope that this exhibition will help the audience fully understand China’s long-standing and diversified food culture, as well as the hardworking spirit of the Chinese behind the food culture. We hope to pass on the fine traditional Chinese culture, enhance national cohesion and pride, and make greater contributions in building China into a culturally powerful socialist country at a faster speed.
The exhibition is located in the No.1 Temporary Exhibition Hall of Sichuan Museum and is scheduled to be on display until February 28, 2021.