- Closed on Mondays (during public holidays, the exhibition will be open on Mondays)
- All Attendees Require a Ticket
- No Cancellation
“Marine Life in the Forbidden City - a Multimedia Exhibition” is jointly sponsored by Beijing Palace Museum and Shenzhen Merchants Culture Industry Co., Ltd, and co-produced by Shanghai LinkA Culture Co., Ltd. The exhibition will be debuted at Shenzhen Sea World Culture and Arts Center on July 12, 2019 and last until October 8, 2019.
The "Marine Life in the Forbidden City", which is developed from “HAI CUO TU”, is a multi-media digital representation that transforms two-dimensional textual reading into a multiple sensory experience combining visual, audio and touch.
The Palace Museum used to be the emperor's home closed within high walls, and it was once the largest library and archives which were loaded with the quintessence of the millennia-old Chinese culture. It has also been a goal for this series of exhibitions to showcase, in a more audience-friendly way, to the general public what had been confined within and carry on our Chinese culture.
About HAI CUO TU "The Book Emperor Qianlong Loved " 300 years ago during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, Nie Huang, a native of Qiantang (now known as Hangzhou, Zhejiang) toured through Hebei, Tianjin, Zhejiang, and Fujian and many other places to explore the coastal creatures and visit seafarers and fishermen.
He then made records of and illustrated all the sea creatures he saw and heard in his journey in both pictures and texts. Finally in 1698, he managed to accomplish "HAI CUO TU" which detailed over 300 creatures. This obscure author has gone into oblivion from history ever since.
Emperor Qianlong even stamped the imperial seals on the first page of the book such as "the Treasure of the Emperor Qianlong" and "Treasured Collection from Chonghua Palace", among others, which showed how much he cherished this book.
In 2014, the Palace Museum in Beijing published the book “HAI CUO TU”, getting this centuries-old book “out of the palace wall”. Readers who have read this book must have drooled over the oysters, kelp, and hilsa herrings.
After all, the author not only recorded their appearance, but also introduced their cooking methods and tastes. Undoubtedly, everyone would be amazed at the strange creatures in the book. Why is it called "HAI CUO TU", that is, "a variety of marine creatures", while in it there are also porcupines, oriole, and even tigers and leopards?
What are these "sea otter", "cross shark" and "flying fish"? Upon careful examination of the texts, we found that Nie was convinced that the purple scorpion would turn into a bat, the fish and sparrows can be mutually transformed, and the tiger shark in the sea can transform into a tiger on land.
He even explained in a "known matter of fact" tone that a giant python named "Shen" was a relative of the dragon, and can swallow up the seashore and puff out a mirage onto the sea.
The exhibition, “Marine Life in the Forbidden City” has received guidance from the Palace Museum, and was curated and designed by a team of well-known museum curators and bio-scientists. It took a total of 10 months to conduct scientific researches on more than 300 creatures depicted in the "HAI CUO TU" and translate the entire book into modern Chinese.
At the same time, a lot of academic research was carried out on the history of costumes, geography, food culture and the custom of the court during the Qing Dynasty, to make the exhibition more scientific, educational and professional.
Exhibition concept “Fantasy, Play, Explore”
The exhibition focuses on fantasy, play and explore. As to the forms of exhibition, video, animation cartoons, games, interactions and other means are used to mobilize the audience's audio, visual and touch senses, so as to experience the marine life depicted in "HAI CUO TU" in a three-dimensional space. As for the content of exhibition, it is based on the tour of the author, Nie Huang, along the coastal areas of North China and East China.
It leads the audience through time and space to follow Nie Huang in his visits to the fishing market and explorations into the mystery of what the porters, travelers and fishermen said or written. Audiences will see what the author wander around, hear what he heard, think in the same way as he did, and experience the ancient Chinese views of the world and logic hidden within the book.
When combined with the modern biological and ecological information provided in the exhibition hall, it will take audiences through a dialogue with the ancient Chinese across time and space.
Stroll through frames after frames of dream-like spaces and move through the mysterious marine creatures. Let's get in close contact with those sea lives. The exhibition respects and also hopes to release the audience's imagination and curiosity, especially for the children, so that they can develop their spirit of proactively pursuing knowledge, instead of just passively accepting them, to help further uncover the ancient Chinese cultural treasure of "HAI CUO TU".
We hope that there are children who are so inspired by "Marine Life in the Forbidden City" that they want to be a historian, oceanologist, or Chinese culture communicator; or the exhibition may offer even a little bit of inspiration for their lives. This is the reason why we do this exhibition."
The "Marine Life in the Forbidden City - a Multimedia exhibition" comprises 5 exhibition areas.
From the gallery of paintings where a variety of sea fish are depicted, to the story of how "HAI CUO TU" begins; from Nie Huang's visit to the fishing market, his exploration into the "mysterious creatures" being told and written by the porters, travelers and fishermen, to the play area of "Imperial Garden of Sea Creatures"; all of which lead the audience in the footsteps of Nie Huang and Emperor Qianlong in an in-depth exploration of the ancient marine life.
The exhibition includes: veil projection hall, 3D Mapping projection, 9 interactive games, and a series of light and shadow photo space and interactive wall.
Phantom Tide: To learn about the interesting marine creatures that live in the intertidal zone
The digital sand table + 3D Mapping projection recreate what Nie Huang has seen on the coast on sunrise and sunset and when the tide ebbs and flows.It reproduces in a vivid and concise way where these marine creatures live among the different intertidal zones and how they live, just like reading a lifelike 3D encyclopedia.
Legends of Sea Monsters: the natural fantasy in the eyes of the ancients A veil projected movie shows us the unrestrained world view of ancient Chinese as represented by Nie Huang: In the story of “Seven Constellations of Cang Long”, we can have a glimpse of how our ancients imagine the sacred creature of dragon;
"Mirage" originally comes from the fantasy story that when the snake mated with the pheasant, their children will be buried under the earth and erupt as a mirage; moreover, yellow croakers transform into ducks, balloonfish turn into porcupines, sparrows change into clams, tiger sharks become tigers, etc. All kinds of fantastic stories;
Mysterious Ocean: a Maze of Reality and Legend
The multi-layered silhouette on the walls reveals mysterious sea monster stories, like fairy tales under the candlelight of the night. The air and the ground are covered with a luminous film that changes color with every touch. The audience can move through them and have a taste of that mysterious yet fun fantasy world.
5 popular science digital games: A variety of interactive game screens are set up in the exhibition hall to bring more fun to the experience,and you will be just seconds away from the knowledge of the creatures' habits!
The audience can learn about the ancient Chinese traditional fishing methods in interactive games such as “razor clam fishermen” and “flying fish hunters”; a tap on the balloonfish can make it bulge instantly; a tap on the interactive coastal wall can take you through the science information of different creatures.
3 kinds of entertainment games: Battle with sea monsters: Children can play as marine guards and battle against the sea monsters with their "weapons".
Pitch-pot game: Come to the princes' "Imperial Garden of Marine Creatures" and play the traditional pitch-pot game.
Stepping on the Stingray: Walking on the beach under the sea, the Stingray will swarm toward you thanks to the induction technology.
2 creative interactive games:
Sea monster generator Use your imagination to create a strange sea monster with the "sea monster generator" just like our ancestors.
Seafood chef Follow the instructions on "Secret Cuisine Book” and give a try at a royal seafood meal;
5 science animations: The vivid animated cartoons tell us a lot of science stories, such as how the delicious seafood make their way to our table in different seasons, the eventful life stories of eels, the secrets in the body of yellow croakers, the three different cute forms of flatfish......
2 immersive photo-taking venues: HAI CUO Panorama;
Upon entering the exhibition hall, the first piece of work isthe gallery of paintings depicting the marine world during Qing dynasty, with marine creatures jumping and dancing in the sea tides. The viewers, together with the marine creatures, will become part of the work in this fantasy world, thus paving the way for the upcoming journey of marine life.
Light and shadow photo-taking space: Hundreds of jellyfish roamed in the exhibition hall, feeling their way through the changes of light and you can capture those moments with your camera.
Science education "Growing of a museum person"
Parent-child science program is the key part of the "Marine Life in the Forbidden City - a Multimedia Exhibition" co-developed by the Palace Museum and Shanghai Lingka Culture Co., Ltd. The professional specifics involving marine knowledge has been reviewed and approved by the team from the Academy of Biological Sciences; the online and offline education courses are developed and produced by the STEAM education development team and integrated into the free navigation system of the exhibition.
In addition, the on-site guides are available for tutorials and they will also integrate the exhibition content into the tasks especially designed for students in the kindergarten to the primary school, adding more fun to the exploration and discovery. Besides, the exhibition also launches a charity parent-child education program with the theme of "growing of a museum person". The program aims to provide additional knowledge about the exhibition and help families gain an in-depth understanding of its content.
During the exhibition, there will also be science classes, children's knowledge contests and a series of science lectures. Meanwhile, in the handicraft workshops in the exhibition hall, all of us will be encouraged to give free play to our imagination, create our own marine creatures and add them to the collections.
Dates: Jul. 12 (Fri.) - Oct. 27 (Sun.)
10:00 - 19:00 Tue. - Fri. (Last Admission 18:30)
10:00 - 21:00 Sat. - Sun. (Last Admission 20:30)
Closed on Mondays (during public holidays, the exhibition will be open on Mondays)
￥69 Standard（￥128 Door Price）
￥128 Standard (x2)（￥256 Door Price）
￥98 Standard（￥128 Door Price）
￥158 Standard (x2)（￥256 Door Price）
￥228 Standard (x3)（￥384 Door Price）
￥198 VIP Ticket（￥259 Door Price）
￥688 VIP Ticket (x3)（￥839 Door Price）
The ￥198 VIP ticket includes:
Complimentary memorabilia, worth/value at 95RMB
The ￥688VIP ticket includes:
Complimentary memorabilia, worth/value at 451RMB
Free for one child under 1m when accompanied by an adult with a ticket.
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Marine Life in the Forbidden City - A Multimedia Exhibition - Shenzhen