The Asian Art Museum officially opened its new art exhibit called China's Terracotta Warriors, The First Emperor's Legacy. Mijo and I attended the Opening Night Party on Thursday evening so we can take a peek at these life sized ancient terracotta soldiers before the museum officially opened the exhibit to the public on February 22nd.
As a member of the museum, I get a calendar of future events at the Asian Art Museum and it was exciting to learn about what is in store for the year 2013. Mijo and I were ecstatic to learn that one of the art exhibits this year is the Terracotta Warriors. No need to go to the city of Xi'an in China to see these ancient warriors, I though to myself.
There were lots of people already waiting by the museum entrance when Mijo and I got to the Civic Center 5 minutes before 7pm on a chilly Thursday evening. No lines, no queues? It was a little disorganized getting inside the museum where hundreds of people trying to get through the museum's main door. It seems like the organizers of this event were not expecting such a large turn out?
We finally managed to get through the maze of people trying to get tickets. We prepaid plus we got discounted tickets to the Opening Night Party as members of the museum. There's definitely a different kind of energy when people see arts at night and it was a party, after all. I get the same vibe during the museum's Matcha events.
[read about my blog about a Matcha event and the Maharaja art exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, Nov. 2011]
There's a photo booth for art exhibit souvenirs.
The hallway is adorned with more figures of ancient Chinese calvalries and chariots.
There were also free cocktails and sweet bites provided by event sponsors that evening. A local DJ provided dance beats.
The museum also added a hosted themed party in the mezzanine and invited an artist collective called The Cheryls. Since this was on a week night, we skipped this part and left it for the young and the beautiful.
This picture was taken from the Lee Gallery, which is the first of the three galleries housing the museum's major special exhibits. The gallery contains objects to illustrate the First Emperor's obsession in the afterlife. These life sized bronze waterbirds were excavated a couple of miles from the First Emperor's tomb.
Bo Bell (697-687 BCE), China, Bronze.
This was also taken at the Lee Gallery. This is Bo Bell from the Spring and Autumn period.
Calvary horse, Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE)
After breezing through the Hambrecht Gallery, we finally made it to the Osher Gallery where the Terracota warriors are housed.
Here are the rest of the Terracotta warriors.
This is an Armored infantry soldier. I learned that night that these armies were meant to protect and guard the First Emperor's tomb. It was hard to take photos inside the gallery because this is where everyone was congregating. I could almost hear the ooohhs and aaaaahhs of the crowd. I don't blame them.
This one is a Standing Archer. There were also short documentaries being run over and over inside the gallery. These short films show how these ancient terracotta figures were unearthed by farmers in 1974 and also shows how massive these ancient burials sites are.
This is an Armored Kneeling Archer. According to the information card next to it, this is the only figure with a green face among two thousand warriors excavated. The color maybe a camouflage or a mark of a spiritual leader. I can't help but check out the details of the armor, the sleeves, the scarf, etc. Did you notice the near perfect pose and the cheek bone? :)
This is an Armored General as suggested by his power pose, his armor, etc. There are only nine generals that have been excavated to date. Except for its chipped nose, the figure is well preserved. I am not sure if they are hollow inside because touching the figures is not allowed. From the outside, the terracotta warriors look solid, heavy and durable. Can you imagine how these warriors were molded without the aid of modern technology? Amazing!
According to the information next to the display, this armor is composed of more than six hundred stone pieces connected by copper wires. It was especially made for burial because it was too heavy for battle.
These terracotta warriors, the cavalry horses and bronze adornments gave me a glimpse of how lavish the emperors of the ancient world lived. I was also reminded of the afterlife and how ancient people from different parts of the world, from the ancient Egyptians to the ancient Mayans and the ancient Chinese, they all believed and prepared for what happens next after death.
Terracotta Warriors, The First Emperor's Legacy is on display through May 27, 2013 at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.