On April 22, “Legacy of Longmen: Archaeological Finds from Kilns in Hejin, Shanxi Province” was opened to the public at the National Museum of China. The National Museum of China and the Shanxi Cultural Relics Bureau host the exhibition. It co-organized by Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Shenzhen Wangye Museum, Cultural Relics Conservation Center of Yuncheng City , The People’s Government of Hejin City.
Hejin, previously known as “Longmen,” was renamed in the Northern Song Dynasty due to the presence of the Yellow River crossing its territory. Hejin is located in Shanxi Province at a triangle where the Yellow River and the Fen River meet, and it is surrounded by the Lvliang Mountains to the north. It has rich china clay and coal resources. Porcelain has been produced here since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and a large number of handed-down porcelains remain today. During the Song and Jin dynasties, around the 12th century CE, Hejin's proximity to the political centre, Kaifeng, led to an increase in population and economic prosperity, and porcelain production reached its peak. The 2016 rescue excavation of the Song and Jin porcelain kiln site at Guzhen, Hejin filled in gaps in our knowledge related to porcelain production sites in this area, identifying the firing site of relevant domestic and foreign porcelain artifacts. It also revealed a complete porcelain industry chain, providing rich information for the study of the porcelain production process, kiln technology and firing methods of the Hejin kiln during the Song and Jin periods. These findings are considered a major breakthrough in Chinese ceramic archaeology and were selected as one of the “Top Ten New Archaeological Discoveries in China” that year.
The exhibition features more than 150 artifacts from the Hejin kiln site, as well as more than 80 handed-down porcelains from renowned collection institutions across the country. The exhibition is divided into four sections to present a comprehensive overview of the archaeological excavations, porcelain-making techniques, decorative techniques and humanistic connotations of the Hejin kiln site, as well as the rise and fall of the porcelain-making industry and the distribution of commodities. At the same time, the exhibition also reproduces scenes of porcelain workshops, kilns, wells and other archaeological relics through various means, such as dioramas and multimedia presentations. It aims to create a panoramic, academic and aesthetic presentation and achieve a new exploration into the combination of academic promotion, social publicization and artistic appreciation of Chinese ceramic archaeology.
The exhibition is located in Gallery N10 of the National Museum of China and is intended to be on display for three months.