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Volume 39 – Number 5

Jun 2008

 



Old Peking: Archaeology, the Forbidden City's Juanqinzhai, Buddhist Temples

Photography by Hedda Morrison and Heritage Conservation
 
New Beijing: The Capital Museum, New Architecture and Contemporary Art Districts

 


Detail of a mural on the north wall,
Juanqinzhai, Forbidden City, Beijing
Qianlong period (1736-95)
Pigment on silk 


With Beijing expecting an 'Olympic' influx of visitors this summer, 
our editorial team decided to embark on its own exploration of this historical city and its changing visibility. Together with our contributors, we discovered an 'Old Peking-New Beijing' that was starling in its contrasts.
 
While regular associations are made with the ever-growing urban sprawl, Zhao Chao offers us the perspective of the city as an archaeological site. Nancy Berliner's and Robert Thorp's articles show why its palaces and temples are a source of continuing fascination. Raymond Lum's discussions offers a look at Beijing between 1933 and 1946 through the eyes of Hedda Morrison, while the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center demonstrates how big shifts in thinking can be effected through small changes in conserving hutong.
 
Yao An explains how the Capital Museum is a repository for 'living culture', and Thomas Campanella reveals why Beijing's new architecture sustains its status as a national capital. Julie Segraves's visit to non-profits in the flourishing art districts shows how sustainable creating and collecting can still prosper in a market-driven field.
 
We also feature reports on th  recent auctions in New York and Hong Kong, and a letter written by a former director of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockhold in response to our March commentary on the staff cuts there. Our commentary this month was sparked by the recent colloquium on transnational museum cooperation in Shanghai.
 
 
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