： (Bronze Mirror, History Museum)
In ancient China, bronze mirrors were used daily to provide a reflection of a person’s appearance. They originated in the late Neolithic Age, when bronze and stone mirrors were both widely used, until the Qing Dynasty, when western glass mirrors were brought to China. Bronze mirrors, with a history of 4,000 years, witnessed the rise and fall of ancient China’s politics, economy and culture. The bronze mirror has combined functions of practicality and decoration, with one side polished bright, and the reverse side engraved with designs and inscriptions. These designs and inscriptions reflect characteristics of different times, showing their social customs and aesthetic tastes. Bronze mirrors therefore provide an important reference for the determination of date and era. Those beautiful, glistening bronze mirrors are treasures of history. The development of bronze mirrors, costumes and makeup is the history of Chinese people ‘s pursuit of beauty. For 4,000 years, bronze mirrors left us messages of wisdom. For example, self-awareness is considered a good quality by Chinese people based on rational thinking of the reflection function of bronze mirrors. Furthermore, according to one Chinese idiom, a broken mirror joined together suggests the happy reunion of a separated couple. There are also many impressive poems and articles expressing the idea that when people look into the mirror, their reflection in the mirror also reflects their state of mind. The bronze mirrors were even considered by ancient Chinese as “magic mirrors”, which had the power to drive out evil spirits. The bronze mirrors have become historical relics and ancient artworks preserved by museums and collectors, rather than everyday necessities. It is hard for modern people to understand the 4,000-year bronze mirror culture. The purpose of this exhibition is to highlight the beauty of the bronze mirrors and let more visitors feel and appreciate the eternal charm of this ancient culture.
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