China: Journey to the East

Dragon's head, by Jonny Wan, illustration commissioned by Museums Sheffield
Saturday 17 December 2011 - Monday 9 April 2012
China has the largest population and the fastest-growing economy of any country on the planet. Yet there is nothing new about China’s global influence. Many of the technologies and ideas we now take for granted began as Chinese exports.

This new exhibition from the British Museum delves into China’s rich past to tell the story of thousands of years of innovation through priceless, awe-inspiring objects. Exploring themes such as food and drink, festivals and beliefs, technology and play, China: Journey to the East will shed light on the intricacies of Chinese culture. Visitors will see the forerunner of today’s calculator, the Chinese abacus, 1300 year old jam tarts, examples of the first porcelain, an oracle bone inscribed with early Chinese writing, and much more. A selection of Sheffield’s own much-loved collection of ornamental ivories will be displayed once again as part of the exhibition. Families can prepare to welcome the Year of the Dragon by performing their own Chinese stories using puppets and costumes in the exhibition.

China: Journey to the East is part of a British Museum programme called Partnership UK. It is one of a series of touring exhibitions promoting understanding between different cultures.

Explore some of the objects in the exhibition in our Flickr gallery:



A British Museum tour.
Supported by BP, a China Now legacy project.