Shadow play, a kind of Chinese folk art with long history, is popular in the vast rural areas especially the Yellow River valley breeding the Chinese civilization. Transparent leather is carved and painted into the characters and the setting, which are represented by the artists on the white curtain through the light. For centuries, overwhelmed with endless charm and appeal, shadow play is fascinating the people. Such gorgeous performance form of “screen shadow” may be called the pioneer of the modern film. As an independent visual art, shadow play boasts simple and generous modeling, elegant and bright color and features unique charm of the Chinese folk art. In 2011, Chinese shadow play was listed as World Intangible Cultural Heritage by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and became cultural treasure shared by the human beings.
Good cooperation between the National Art Museum of China and China Shadow Play Museum makes the exhibition possible. The exhibition showcases 39 pieces of fine collections from the National Art Museum of China and also 6 series of fine artworks from China Shadow Play Museum. With the theme of “Shadow play Tells the History ”, the exhibition is intended to explain splendid history and culture in an all-round way from unique artistic perspective of shadow play. “The artist tells the history and plays the shadow puppets with hands. ” In the world of shadow play, the visitors will find breathtaking war scene, courageous and chivalrous heroes, refined and elegant life of men of letters and romantic and fantastic legends. The wonderful and elegant artworks reflect essential heroic spirit and lofty ideal as well as profound wisdom and good wish for happy life. In order to bring about better spiritual exchange and cultural resonance, the exhibits adopt the stories familiar by the Korean people, such as The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Romance of West Chamber and A Journey to the West.