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Home > News > News > On-the-spot Report of the Ceremony for National Museum Collection the Gilded Teakwood Model of Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven

On-the-spot Report of the Ceremony for National Museum Collection the Gilded Teakwood Model of Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven

Pubdate:2017-10-15

 

The Donation and Collection Ceremony of Model Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in Temple of Heaven, made by China Red Sandalwood Museum, was successfully held at National Museum on October 15th ,2017, ahead of the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China.

 

More than 600 guests were present at the ceremony, including the following distinguished guests : He Luli, former Vice Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee; Yang Yanyin, Director of Committee for Liaison with Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan and Overseas Chinese; Chen Yunlin, Counselor of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits; Zheng Xinmiao, former Vice Minister of Culture, former Director of the Palace Museum and President of Research Institute of the Palace Museum; Zhao Shaohua, Vice Chairman of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, and Vice Chairman and Secretory General of China National Arts Fund; Tan Tianxing, Vice President of China Overseas Exchange Association; Yan Chongnian, famous historian; Jean-Paul Desroches, General Conservator of French Culture Heritage and former Director of Musée national des Arts asiatiques-Guimet; Zhu Bing, Director of Culture Office of NPC Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee; Liu Chunfeng, Party Secretary and Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality; Rong Yang, Chairman of Beijing Returned Overseas Chinese Federation; Feng Nai’en, Vice Director of the Palace Museum; Wang Zhongjie, researcher of the Palace Museum and expert of colorful painting in the ancient architecture; Chiu Yung, Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPPCC, and president of Fu Wah International Group; Chi Chungsui, Director of Beijing Red Sandalwood Culture Foundation, etc.

 

Guests attending the donation and collection ceremony

 

After fieldwork and design by Zhao Chongmao, Piao Xuelin, Wangzhongjie, experts from the Palace Museum on the invitation of Director Chan Laiwa, this splendid and magnificent gilded model was handmade by scores of senior craftsmen for more than three years with precious teakwood from Burma and covered with three layers of gold leaf manually in the 1990s. With a diameter of 9m and a height of 3.8m, it was completely made according to the original architecture with ancient tenon and mortise structures with a scale of 1:10. This model had great artistic value and was worth collecting, for every detail was nearly perfect and each part fits perfectly while could easily be assembled and disassembled.

 

the gilded model of famous architecture Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven

 

Director Lv Zhangshen delivered a speech on the ceremony. He said, before 19th CPC National Congress, the Ceremony of National Museum Collection for Gilded Teakwood Model of Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven” was held in the west hall of National Museum. On behalf of National Museum, I would like to express my sincere welcome and gratitude to all guests present.

 

He noted that, this glorious gilded model was donated by Ms. Chan Laiwa, the Director of China Red Sandalwood Museum. The artistic model collected by national museum enriched the collection of National Museum further. It was another example of inheriting and developing Chinese excellent traditional culture which had unique significance.

 

Director Lv Zhangshen awarded Director Chan Laiwa with Collection Certificate on the ceremony.

 

He highlighted that the National Museum of China is the ancestral hall, ancestral temple of Chinese culture. the origin of Chinese dream and cultural living room of national culture. It has attracted 40 million domestic and foreign tourists in the past 6 years since the inauguration, and the overall attendance each year has reached 7.5 million on average in the past 3 years. It was appraised as the most welcomed museum worldwide by relevant institutes from UK and America.

 

On 29th November, 2012, President Xi came to the National Museum to visit the permanent exhibition The Road of Rejuvenation with members of 18th Politburo Standing Committee and comrade of Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CPC. It was at that time that President Xi proposed the epochal theme of Realizing the Chinese dream of the Great Rejuvenation of Chinese nation for the first time. Before the opening of 19th CPC National Congress, Ms. Chan donated the precious model voluntarily to the National Museum as a gift for 19th CPC National Congress. I would like to express deep gratitude and respect on behalf of National Museum for Ms. Chan’s patriotism and loyalty to CPC and her dedication. National Museum of China would like to further cooperate with China Red Sandalwood Museum to contribute more to Chinese cultural exhibition and to the realization of the Great Chinese Rejuvenation.

 

It was known that Ms. Chan’s donation of the gilded model for the National Museum was widely supported by the National Committee of CPPCC and Ministry of Culture, and got full cooperation from National Museum.

 

Director Chan expressed her sincere gratitude to government who accepted her donation and displayed it in the National Museum. She said, “I am heartfeltly grateful for Director Lv’s praise and encouragement. I just made a little contribution to put forward our traditional Chinese culture. This gilded Hall of Prayer was made twenty years ago and it is my great honor that it could be permanently collected by National Museum and displayed in the hall on the first floor. Please allow me to thank our government and the National Museum again”.

 

Director Chan Laiwa delivered a speech in the ceremony.

 

With the help and support from our leaders and every audience here, I am encouraged to spare no efforts to inherit and spread our traditional culture. I have been engaged in the red sandalwood career for more than thirty years and my life has been tightly integrated into the red sandalwood art. This Teakwood Gilded Model of the Hall of Prayer was exactly made in accordance with the Red Sandalwood Carving Skill, a National Intangible Cultural Heritage of which I am the inheritor. Today, this model stands at the National Museum to be appreciated by people from all over the country, and it has encouraged me to work harder in my rest life time. Furthemore, I have finished making sixteen old Beijing City Gates in red sandalwood and buried wood with a scale of 1:10, and I will build an Old Beijing City Themed Park to exhibit these models of gates. In addition, the China Red Sandalwood Museum will continue to cooperate with the National Museum, and the exhibition of China’s red sandalwood arts will be held in the National Museum.

 

At last she said, this model is also a gift for wishing a complete success of the 19th CPC National Congress.

 

Mr. Chiu Yung, the son of Director Chan, said that it was his honor to hear these encouraging words and congratulations from all of you.

 

Mr. Chiu Yung delivered a speech on the ceremony.

 

Last forty years, my mother worked day and night, devoting almost all her vigor to developing Chinese red sandalwood art. She began to repair ancient furniture from 1970s-1980s, later she went to Southeast Asia to select and purchase red sandalwood and Huanghuali wood, and then established a furniture factory to make red sandalwood furniture by herself, in the course of which she got big help from the deans and experts of the Palace Museum. In 1990s, she invested heavily to establish the first and largest red sandalwood art museum in the world. From 21st century, she took her masterpieces to the world. Several museums in United States, Germany, France, Japan etc. have collected the architecture models made of red sandalwood and made under my mother’s supervision. The Presidents, Prime Ministers, Speakers of these countries have all praised her as “nongovernmental diplomacy ambassador” in their meetings.

 

In recent years, although she is more than 70 years old, she is still working hard to develop the red sandalwood culture like before. The 16 magnificent city gates' models of ancient Beijing, which are made of red sandalwood and buried wood, reproduced the precious landscapes of ancient Beijing. I remember that the city gate model of Anding, which was finished in 2013, once exhibited in the west hall of National Museum, and at that moment, Director Lv's warm speech words encouraged me a lot.

 

Today, my mother's masterpiece Model Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in Temple of Heaven has the honor to be collected by the National Museum, and displayed in the hall, attracting audience all over the world. This is the great affirmation from country for her lifetime pursuit of art, and also the great glory of China Red Sandalwood Museum. I would like to thank the National Museum of China for the grand ceremony.

 

Jean-Paul Desroches delivered a speech on the ceremony.

 

Jean-Paul Desroches said, “the admiration of donation of the Model of Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven lies in not only the forever historical significance of making it but also the precision of the craftsmanship. It enriched the collection of National Museum of China. It is the masterpiece of craftsmen and also the interpretation of Beijing traditional architecture.

 

Mr. Chi Chungsui delivered a speech on behalf of famous film star Jackie Chan.

 

Jackie Chan mentioned in his congratulations letter that Director Chan and he have been friends for many years, and she has always been devoting herself into China red sandalwood culture. Since the establishment of China Red Sandalwood Museum, she undertook the responsibility to spread and inherit this by researching and innovating the red sandalwood carving skill, which has created many works of art and precious treasures. This kind of ‘spirit of the craftsman’ should be learned by us for lifetime.

 

Her donation this time not only shows her passion for Chinese traditional culture, but also allows ordinary visitors to experience the profound culture closely. This model will add lustre to the National Museum and Chinese traditional culture inheritance.

 

Historian Yan Chongnian said, “Today, I am honored to witness the solemn moment when Model Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in Temple of Heaven was donated by Chan Laiwa, the director of China Red Sandalwood Museum, to the National Museum of China. The model represents its original perfectly, by an overall scale of 1:10 , a diameter of 9 meters, and a height of 3.8 meters. It absolutely possesses great historical, cultural, artistic and historical relic values, and it will be collected by National Museum forever as an important cultural relic.”

 

Historian Yan Chongnian delivered a speech on the ceremony.

 

At the end of his speech, Yan said, “I have witnessed the great contributions she has made for the Chinese traditional culture development over the years, and I fully admire her spirit of patriotism and professional dedication. Congratulations to Chan Laiwa again for the gilded Hall of Prayer in Temple of Heaven being collected by the National Museum of China again.” 

 

Looking back on it, the year 1999, when China Red Sandalwood Museum was first opened to the public, was the beginning of Director Chan’s “red sandalwood dream”. She is still grateful to the Palace Museum and some experts including Mr. Wang Shixiang, Mr. Zhu Jiajin. With their help and instruction, she finished replicating the ancient architectures, such as the Corner Tower, One-thousand Autumn Pavilion, Ten-thousand Spring Pavilion, Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven etc, with precious red sandalwood, which have successfully enriched the collection of the museum. These years, she has donated several priceless red sandalwood architecture models to the Palace Museum in China, Chambord in France, Smithsonian Institution in US, Dresden National Art Collection Museum in Germany and Kyushu National Museum in Japan. She has not only spread Chinese red sandalwood culture, but also built a bridge connecting China and the world to promote the sino-foreign cultural exchange.

 

In 2011, “red sandalwood carving skill applied by the China Red Sandalwood Museum was listed as the National Intangible Heritage, and Director Chan became the inheritor. This is a memorable moment for her, and every time she recalls it, she feels it is worth dedicating all to this red sandalwood artistic career.

 

a group picture of guests in front of this gilded model

 

This year is the 18th year since China Red Sandalwood first opened to the public and it has received hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. When visiting the museum, most people became interested in the Chinese red sandalwood culture. From 2010, Director Chan organized hundreds of experts and artisans taking efforts to re-create the 16 old Beijing City Gates with precious red sandalwood and buried wood. Until now, all these 16 gate models have been completed with a scale of one to ten, which were spoken highly by Shan Jixiang, Director of Palace Museum, Master Hsing Yun, Historian Yan Chongnian etc. In 2013, one of the gate models was exhibited in the National Museum and it was widely praised and welcomed by visitors.

 

It is very precise in the process of creating red sandalwood artworks, including choosing materials, manufacturing, carving, polishing, waxing etc. Director Chan thinks this preciseness embodies the spirit of craftsman -- to work hard and steadily, which is also advocated by the country and she practises it constantly. She reveals the root cause that she devotes herself to this art is that the spirit of red sandalwood carving could be handed down from generation to generation as our Chinese traditional culture beyond space and time.

 

Guests were visiting this model.

 

Expert Wang Zhongjie was explaining the process to Mr. Chiu Yung.

 

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