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Chinese Bronzes in a cloud

March 20, 2008

Continued from previous post: Enchanted Place

Passing through the multi-colored tiled hallways of the museum, I came to a small flight of stairs. By this time, the crowds were flocking in for the Russian exhibit and the groups of children were deafening.

However, I was lucky; at that moment this part of the exhibit was sparsely visited. 

You climb the stairs and it gets quieter, there is a faint sound of Chinese bronze bells playing in the background. The light becomes soft and filtered. This pavilion is simply magical. The entire space is divided by floor-to-ceiling, mist-like gauzy white curtains arranged in flowing curves. So you get lost in a maze of curves, following one and suddenly coming to a little alcove formed by more curtains. And in a glass showcase sits a stunning bronze vessel from 600BC.  You just wander in and out of these corridors and niches, from one delight to the next. The walls are light blue, as is the floor, and I believe the source of the light is daylight, though it has something watery about it perhaps reflected from the canal below.

Very rarely do you encounter more people than is comfortable. One or two ahead or behind, but basically one wanders through the clouds of translucent white cloth alone.

I floated out of the museum and home on a cloud of my own, feeling totally refreshed and inspired.

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