Interactive exhibit on life in 18th century Beijing coming to VMFA

“Beyond The Walls” opens Sunday, September 7th and focuses on the lives of merchant-class families.

A new interactive exhibition coming to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts beginning Sunday aims to contrast the museum’s forthcoming Imperial-focused “Forbidden City” exhibit, featuring relics from the lives of regular, 18th century working class families.

The “Beyond the Walls” interactive exhibit will expose visitors to the life of merchant-class families in China–a stark departure from that of the Emperor, which will be on display as part of “Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum in Beijing, China.”

The Beyond the Walls exhibition is designed to encourage visitors to explore Chinese culture through hands-on activities that include practicing Chinese calligraphy on touch screens, designing personal, virtual seals, and playing traditional musical instruments and games. There also will be opportunities to unroll and view reproduction hand scrolls, similar to those featured in Forbidden City and in VMFA’s East Asian collection.

The VMFA will also offer a number of lectures, talks, and a film program around the exhibition including nationally recognized speakers. These programs will support the exhibition with scholarly insights into the objects from the Palace Museum while making ties to VMFA’s own collection.

A complementary interactive website will launch the same day, where visitors can explore daily life in imperial China.

“Beyond the Walls” opens this Sunday, September 7th, at noon, with a ribbon cutting at 12:15 PM in the MWV Art Education Center.

The larger “Forbidden City” exhibit opens to the public on October 18th.

For more information, visit the VMFA website.

Photo: VMFA

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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