“Source of Civilization: Image Exhibition of Chinese Creation Myths” unveiled

On July 10th, the “Source of Civilization: Image Exhibition of Chinese Creation Myths” was unveiled.

It was commissioned by Shanghai Federation of Social Science Associations and designed and created by Shanghai Social Science Center. The contents of the exhibition are selected from the “Academic Research Project on Chinese Creation Myths”. It features human icons and also includes geographical images of ancient China and images of ancient Chinese writings. The exhibition shows part of the wonderful world of Chinese creation myths in the form of image narration. It consists of a preface, a copy of the legendary Cangjie Characters (Cangjie was allegedly the inventor of Chinese characters), a Yugong Map of the Nine-State China, Fu His and Nyu Wa (the first man and woman in Chinese mythology), a brief genealogy of Chinese creation myths, thirteen major Chinese ancestral gods, other mythological figures and stories, etc.

The genealogy of Chinese creation myths is the only one of its kind in the country. It maps the relationship between the many ancestral gods in one large illustrative diagram. The exhibition expounds the academic, intellectual and scientific connotations behind those mythological images and stories. The classic myth images were visual symbols for ancient Chinese to pass down traditions and cultural identities, and now they inspire modern artists in their creation. In international exchange, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words, and so such images can prove more effective in helping other nations understand Chinese values. The exhibition offers many interactive games. For example, visitors are invited to recognize the Cangjie characters to match each with their modern counterparts. The electronic version of the Yugong Nine-State Map of China challenges visitors to locate their respective hometowns on the map.

Chinese creation myths are representative of the excellent traditional Chinese culture. They personalize the philosophy and values of the nation, and exemplify the continuity, unity, irenicity, innovativeness, inclusiveness, and other prominent features of the Chinese civilization. To visitors, the creation myths provide effective access to sources of Chinese civilization and our unique cultural genes.

RELEASE TIME2023-07-27