The Aurora Museum is a “cultural treasure chest”
The architecture is frozen music, an epic of stone and a cultural monument. An art museum embodies this.
In the series “Unfrozen Art: A Journey Through Shanghai’s Cultural Landmarks,” we will guide you through an immersive experience, ranging from the museum’s special architecture and gift shops to the museum district’s cafeteria and cafés.
Aiming to reach the level of the world’s best museums such as the Center Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and the Tate in London, art museums in Shanghai have boomed in the past decade.
Visiting museums has become a way of life, a type of social activity or entertainment. The magic of an art museum permeates every corner.
In addition to the exhibits inside, what else can visitors enjoy on a relaxing weekend afternoon at the museum?
Get ready for a museum trip!
As the first museum renovation project undertaken by Tadao Ando in China, the Aurora Museum, which opened in 2013, is like a “cultural treasure chest” standing on the banks of the Huangpu River.
Tadao Ando, a world-famous Japanese architect, not only designed the building that hosts the museum, but also designed the concept of the museum when he undertook its redesign.
Located in the financial center of Pudong, the Aurora Museum showcases the collection of the Aurora Group’s founders, Chen Yongtai and Yuan Huihua, who, for more than 40 years, have collected ancient Chinese treasures including pottery, porcelain, Buddhist statues and great jade artifacts. Historical significance.
The museum’s pottery collection includes painted figures from the Han and Tang dynasties.
The jade collection spans from the Neolithic period to the Ming and Qing dynasties, the time period of the entire history of ancient China.
Blue and white porcelain is also a highlight. They include typical blue and white porcelain from the Yuan Dynasty sold to the Middle East, basic porcelain from official kilns and folk kilns in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and commercial porcelain exported in trade.
The museum’s collection of Buddhist sculptures are mainly of Gandhara sculptures of the early period of Buddhism and local sculptures of the Northern Wei, Sui and Tang dynasties. These lines clearly illustrate the different styles and aesthetic viewpoints presented in the process of localization of Chinese Buddhist sculpture.
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As the 89th museum designed by Ando, this building is based on the themes of “circle” and “harmony,” and the “circle” itself is the element that best expresses “harmony.”
In his view, the circle is an element that seems limited, but is full of spirit and freedom.
Facing the Bund against a backdrop of Lujiazui’s high-rise buildings, the Aurora Museum evokes a stark contrast between history and modernity, which brought much inspiration to Ando.
For example, the museum’s minimalist-style facade was shaped by Ando to make the building appear more modern to reflect the surrounding buildings.
The main building features a glass window structure, cut with clean geometric lines. Inside the museum, a spiral staircase extends five floors above the central foyer. The carefully designed interior is designed to engage viewers in an exciting atmosphere even before entering the exhibition area
With its layered geometric lines, circular-stage rotating staircases, ivory or light gray spaces as well as shifting light and shadow, the museum showcases Ando’s personal style. The artefacts in the museum and the Bund on the other side of the river inadvertently add a unique feel to those coming to the museum.
“Architecture should be a unique product of that place and time,” Ando said. “It doesn’t matter whether the building is small or big, but the perception of the real city is important. How you ask your questions and the strong will behind the building.”
The café in the Aurora Museum is divided into two rooms. One of them is located on the ground floor, in the Cultural and Creative Shop. It is spacious, bright and has a comfortable and simple style.
The other, designed by Ando, is located on the fifth floor of the museum. The gray-decorated cafeteria has a stunning view of the Huangpu River. Sitting by the window and watching the river flow slowly, one may find the perfect experience to see the Bund at sunset.
1. Golden Snow Globe
This clay statue is from the Eastern Han Dynasty. The clever expressions and exaggerated appearance catch the attention of the performer at the time.
The golden snow globe is placed inside a crystal ball, adding a festive atmosphere.
2. Crumbling color blocks
This female statue features a plump face, delicate eyes, and a small mouth with a high bun typical of the Tang Dynasty. With a graceful and relaxed posture, the old lady raised two hands in front of her chest, her head and body turning slightly to the left. In fact, the Tang Dynasty witnessed a flourishing period of feudal culture in China, and the relatively loose and free social environment enabled women to cast off the shackles of traditional rituals and boldly pursue the natural beauty of clothing.