NGV Melbourne, Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang

The ceiling of the Great Hall, located within Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), is impressively beautiful. Even on a dull day, the colourful glass glinted as random sun rays attempted to shine through.Our visit today was to see the infamous Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality display, which was being held in conjunction with Cai Guo-Qiang’s The Transient Landscape. On display until October, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit.
To be able to witness firsthand, these incredible historic works of art, is simply mind blowing. Each of these artefacts as well as the warriors themselves, have been handcrafted by ancient civilisation. Thousands of years old, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the sheer logistics involved.
There are some real warriors on display as well as a few replicas. However, keep in mind each one of these (and there are thousands), were made piece by piece. A hand, an arm, a head a body. All made separately then joined together. Remember too, every one of these images, including the horses, are taller than a normal human. These are not small, nor are they plain. Every single statue has their own personality. How many years did it take to achieve this?
We call our selves modern society, but, how advanced were our predecessors? I’m thinking very! An ancient civilisation created all of these incredibly detailed works of art. All to honour their Emperor.
As you enter this display, the changing displays show the sands of time throughout the ages. Very cleverly done. Inside you witness the sheer spectacle of ancient art including priceless gold and artefacts.
The ceiling above is covered with swallows. Part of the display by Cai Guo-Qiang, this amazing 10 000 porcelain bird mass, represents a 3 dimensional impression of the sacred Mt Li, which is the site of the tomb of Chinas first emperor. This is where the Terracotta Warriors were first discovered in the mid seventies, alongside the first Emperor, Qin Shihuang.As you stroll through this incredible display, do not forget to look up, or simply sit for a while and become part of the amazing experience you have the opportunity to witness.After viewing some priceless artefacts as well as irreplaceable warriors, you move through the superb gun powder art of Cai Guo-Qiang, into the area housing tomb stones and miniature.The entire showing held some personal interest, after having recently found out that Cai was a distant relative from a few generations back. Not only does this spark the interest, but you feel that extra personal touch. Mesmerised and still in awe, I cannot explain the feeling of being in the presence of such meaningful historic pieces. Keep in mind these works of art date back to 200BCE. The estimates give us an idea of the sheer size of these massive warriors with more than 8000 soldiers, 130 chariots, led by 520 horses plus another 150 cavalry horses. Add to this the strongmen, musicians, acrobats and officials, all hand crafted and buried with the Emperor and its about now you begin to understand why this archaeological find has held such significant meaning in our history. In particular Chinas history.Watch the video before you move into the museum shop. Here you will see the intensity and effort behind Cai Guo-Qiangs spectacular art.

If you are in Melbourne, dont miss this display, if not in Melbourne then you really should consider a visit.

More photos are posted on Dine Live Travel’s Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Feel free to ask questions should you wish to know more, and please, if you simply cannot visit, then immerse yourself in the photos and experience we have provided.

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