You may have been lucky enough to visit The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Xi’an, China and have viewed the terracotta warriors in situ, however there’s something very special about being able to get up close and personal to eight of them at the NGV’s Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality & Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape Winter Masters Exhibition.
The curators have selected eight warrior statues, horses and replica chariots together with a selection of ritual objects and ancestral treasures. These all combine to make this exhibition well worth visiting. The warriors are cleverly displayed in well lit glass enclosures that are mirror backed allowing you to see the total figure in exceptional detail.
Getting up close allows you to see the finer details of work and the variations of retained colour.
Horses played a fundamental role in the dynasties and sacrificial horse burials were practised. However, life-size replicas have been discovered as part of the terracotta army’s military formation.
Only two chariots have been discovered. They were badly damaged but have been reconstructed from thousands of broken pieces. These are not available for exhibition outside of China. However, replicas have been made that provide a realistic impression of the originals.
Thousands of pottery animals have been excavated. They were to accompany the emperor as a source of ongoing supply of food for the afterlife.
Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape, counterpart to the warriors, is inspired by Chinese traditional inventions and provides a considered blending of past and present. All these works have been created specifically for the exhibition and are both exciting and dramatic.
A panel of videos at the end of the exhibition shows how Cai Guo-Qiang created the gunpowder paintings. This is a must see, so do allow some time!
To discover more click here