The Beauty of Letters - An Exhibition of Chinese Family Letters2016-11-23 16:17:39Share:
Private family letters are a tool for family members and friends to communicate information and express emotions, and are known for their essential truthfulness and private nature. Besides narrating the minutiae of family life, family letters also record social customs and historical events. Family letters are also the place where one might express feelings and emotions more fully, where recipients can find love and affection not transmitted by 1 telephone, text messages or E-mail.
The Exhibition comprises nine sections in total, namely: Cultural Overview, Family Letters of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Family Letters in the Republic of China, Family Letters in the 1950s, Family Letters in the 1960s and 1970s, Family Letters since Reform J and Opening up, Family Letters between the Taiwan Straits, Overseas Family Letters and Tf Preserving Family Letters. The letters are displayed chronologically, with some sections by / correspondent. Altogether 1000 family letters and 500 old photos are exhibited, sketching the history of cultural development and the evolution of traditional Chinese family letters.
The majority of the exhibits have been collected from ordinary families. The selected letters are all handwritten pieces, of which the oldest is from the Ming Dynasty and the most recent from 2011, covering a span of four or five hundred years. Most of the displayed letters have gone through the whole process of writing, sealing, sending, receiving and reading. Letters chart the journey of the mind, and the splashes of ink carry lingering love. Behind each letter lie great historical changes and vicissitudes, the joys of reunion s and sorrows of partings, numerous moving tales and records of historical events.
A family letter represents one period of history. Reading these letters that have been sealed for hundreds of years, we may let our imaginations follow freely the feelings of the writers, and experience the charms of handwritten letters. We hope that the letters can help maintain our sense of the past, stimulating people' s reflections on the historical cultural heritage carried in these traditional letters. The hundreds of donors of these treasured family letters have offered them freely because of their sense of responsibility to both history and the future. Their efforts and devotion have made it possible for us to ‘see history through reading the mind' . We offer them our thanks and gratitude.
We hope that the memories of ordinary people encapsulated in these letters will not be ignored or forgotten, and that the culture of tradition Chinese family letter may be passed down for several more generations.
Museum of Renmin University: No. 59, Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District, Beijing, 100872.
1) Beijing Metro:
East Gate: Line 4, Renmin Daxue Station;
West Gate: Line 10, Suzhoujie Station
You can show the following address to the taxi driver:
Renmin University of China, Zhongguancun No.59 (for the east gate)
Renmin University of China, on the east side of the road, 1500 meters north to Suzhou Bridge (for the west gate)
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