Whats the origin of the new president of the Palace Museum? Having spent eight years studying in Shancun, Gansu Province

 Whats the origin of the new president of the Palace Museum? Having spent eight years studying in Shancun, Gansu Province

On April 8, 65-year-old Shan Jixiang, the gatekeeper of the Palace Museum, retired. Wang Xudong, president of the Palace Museum, took over the post of president of the Dunhuang Academy. On April 9, the official website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism also updated the information in the section of Ministry Leadership. Wang Xudong, the president of the Palace Museum, also served as a member of the Party Group of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and was clearly designated as the vice minister.

For a while, netizens expressed their reluctance and wishes to Shan Jixiangs retirement, and expressed curiosity and expectation to Wang Xudong, the new president: in the past seven years, the single president sent the Palace Museum to search at both ends in three days. In the future, can the new president Wang create brilliance and lead the Palace Museum to a new era?

In fact, Wang Xudong, born in 1967, was 13 years younger than Shan Jixiang, but he spent more time in close contact with cultural relics than Shan Jixiang. In 28 years, in the desert of Northwest China, Wang Xudong did not eat for nothing. He became a senior cultural and conservation expert who knew nothing about art and murals of Mogao Grottoes, and then promoted the cross-border integration of Dunhuang studies.

Compared with Duan Zi-hand Shan Ji-xiang, his old colleagues evaluation of Wang Xudong is low-key and low-key. Faced with the booming Museum IP development, Wang Xudong, who has been living in Dunhuang for a long time, has always been cautious: We would rather slow down a little, or even not cooperate, than break through the bottom line. After President Wangs new career, will the rapid development of the Palace Museum IP slow down?

The Sand-sweeping Monk who knows nothing about Dunhuang

Impulse can be a devil or an opportunity to change the trajectory of life. Without the temporary impulse 28 years ago, todays Wang Xudong may be 180,000 miles away from the work of cultural relics protection.

In February 1967, Wang Xudong was born in the countryside of Shandan County, Gansu Province. Shandan County, located in the middle of Hexi Corridor, has a continental cold and semi-arid climate. Its annual precipitation is only 187.7 mm, and its per capita water resources amount is less than 600 cubic meters, only 27% of the national per capita water resources.

In Wang Xudongs hometown, the very remote small mountain village has a population of no more than 1,000 people, facing the Loess and facing the sky, and the lack of water is even more self-evident. In his childhood, Wang Xudong had only one dream - to become a water engineer and change the water shortage in his hometown. So on the college entrance examination volunteer, from one, two to the specialty, Wang Xudong filled in the water conservancy specialty.

In 1986, Wang Xudong was admitted to the Department of Geology, Lanzhou University, majoring in hydrogeology and engineering geology. After graduation, he did not hesitate to return to his hometown and became a water conservancy technician in the hydroelectric Department of Zhangye area.

In 1991, the Dunhuang Research Institute cooperated with the Geti Conservation Institute of the United States. American experts suggest that grotto protection requires the participation of geological engineering professionals. On the recommendation of University teachers, Wang Xudong entered the vision of Dunhuang Research Institute.

Dun, Daye. Huang, Sheng Ye. This is the interpretation of Dunhuang in Han Shu. Since ancient times, Dunhuang has been the stronghold of communication between China and the West, where Eastern and Western cultures converge. Buddhist culture has also passed through the Pamir Plateau and the Taklimakan Desert, and gradually entered the Central Plains in the east. Dunhuang has become a major Buddhist city for a while.

Since the Jin Dynasty, monks, believers and Buddhist princes and nobles have been digging grottoes and drawing murals in Dunhuang. There are 735 Grottoes in Guangmogao Grottoes, with a total length of 1680 meters in the north and south. There are 45,000 square meters of murals and 2415 painted sculptures. There are more than 50,000 ancient cultural relics.

The grotto art is brilliant and the restoration work is arduous. The frescoes peel off and the paintings fade... Dunhuang Grottoes have suffered from wind and sand and weathering for a long time. They need not only artistsdescription, but also professional personnel in geology and chemistry.

Source: Dunhuang Research Institute official website

But at first, Wang Xudong, who was full of ideal water harnessing, was not very willing: Because it was recommended by his teacher, I reluctantly decided to go to Dunhuang to see it. On the seventeenth day of the first lunar month in 1991, a heavy snow fell in Dunhuang. Wang Xudong took a long-distance bus from Zhangye and stepped on the snow to Mogao Grottoes.

Mogao Grottoes in Snow

Previously, Wang Xudong had never been to the Mogao Grottoes. The only impression of the Mogao Grottoes was his fathers photo taken in front of the ninth floor when he was traveling.

Mogao Grottoes in the snow, converge the mania of the Gobi Feisha, all sounds quiet, especially at night, facing the empty and unmanned Three Dangerous Mountains, Wang Xudong wandered around the Mogao Grottoes alone, suddenly feeling good about this quiet Millennium monument, and felt that the grotto area was like a small mountain village living in childhood. The next day, Wang Xudong, who knew nothing about Dunhuang culture, promised to stay at the institute.

Years later, Wang Xudong recalled, It was a bit of an impulse to decide to stay. Among the whole family, only Wang Xudongs father agreed to his decision to stay in Dunhuang.

On his way to Dunhuang, the man of science and technology met with new perplexities. At that time, I knew nothing about art, and I could not understand those Buddhist murals at all. In the eyes of my engineering students, those clay sculptures and murals are often just earth, just minerals. Wang Xudong remembers that when he first repaired the murals, his hands shook so hard that he could not start.

In the early 1990s, the wind and sand hazards in Mogao Grottoes were still serious. Wang Xudong just went to work in the Academy of Sciences. Every day, he sweeps sand in the grottoes.

Abandoning the ideal of his youth, Wang Xudong, a young man, faced many challenges when he became a sand-sweeping monk in the cold and quiet caves in Huangsha, accompanied by the ancient Buddha of Qingdeng.

Fire Captain of Buddhist Relics

Where there are many flowers and willows, it is only means to pull them apart; when there is a storm, you can stand firm and see where your feet are. Fortunately, Wang Xudong soon used his professional knowledge to gain a firm foothold in the Dunhuang Academy, where artists gather, and also found his awe for art.

Into the research institute, Wang Xudong took over the first topic of cliff stability research, which is very consistent with his major. He had the privilege of holding the key and spent half a year walking through 492 caves with murals and sculptures in Mogao Grottoes.

In July 1999, Wang Xudong (third right) and Chinese and foreign experts discussed the protection of murals in Cave 85 of Mogao Grottoes (source: Dunhuang Research Institute)

In Dunhuang, Wang Xudong conquered many difficult problems with his professional knowledge. For example, murals fall off repeatedly and have been called grotto cancer by researchers. However, Wang Xudongs investigation and analysis of pigments and rock mass revealed that the salt in murals pigments was too high, which was dissolved and crystallized repeatedly in different humidity environments. Therefore, in order to cure murals, we must first understand the structure of rock mass and the law of water and salt migration. I feel I finally have a place to use it.

Flow chart of mural restoration in Mogao Grottoes

But perennial involvement in the restoration work also means perennial silence. Dunhuang Research Institute is 25 kilometers away from Dunhuang City. It scrapes sand and dust. At the worst time, it cant be seen within ten meters. In winter, the temperature is around 20 degrees below zero, and the caves are as cold as ice cellars. At that time, Wang Xudong and his wife separated from each other, and they had moved their minds to leave.

Eventually Wang Xudong stayed. Often in the grottoes, Wang Xudong became more interested in grotto art. Through reading and consulting, I feel more and more that the knowledge is too great and the content is too rich. From that time on, I had a deep-rooted awe of Dunhuang cultural relics.

Wang Xudong once said that compared with the Millennium Grottoes, his protection work for more than 20 years is not much. He found strength from his predecessors in Dunhuang: Persistence and not following the trend is the spiritual strength I have drawn from Mr. Chang Shuhong, Mr. Duan Wenjie and Mr. Fan Jinshi. I dont think we should be lazy, but we should have a determination.

On the Sanwei Mountain opposite the Mogao Grottoes, there is a simple cemetery where more than ten cultural relics workers and artists who worked in the Dunhuang Academy before their death are buried, including Chang Shuhong, the first president of the Dunhuang Academy, Shi Weixiang, a Dunhuang scholar, and Ouyang Linli.

Maybe it is also related to Wang Xudongs character of peace and quiet. In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, Wang Xudong said that among the Mogao Grottoes, the most touching one was Cave 158, Nirvana Grottoes. In this grotto, the ancient artists created the sculpture of Sakyamuni entering Nirvana realm. Wang Xudong said that once entering Nirvana grotto, impetuous and painful feelings would disappear, replaced by pure joy. This may have something to do with my whole personality.

Dunhuang 158 cave

Wang Xudong, who grew up in the countryside, has a strong rural complex. He likes the natural and simple countryside and visits abroad. He also likes small towns and idyllic cities most. He also admits that he does not like big cities, but only those cities that integrate with nature.

According to all-weather science and technology reports, the old colleagues of Dunhuang Research Institute also commented on Wang Xudong as not very fond of talking to other people, low-key and practical work, but when it comes to geological knowledge, he talks a lot and takes notes every time he comes back from the cave. His notes in the office are piled up like hills, with the largest number, and he still flips through them from time to time. After work, Wang Xudong stayed up late to review, and took an overnight train to Lanzhou to study after work on Friday. He spent eight years studying for his masters and doctors degrees in the Department of Geology of Lanzhou University.

In 2018, Wang Xudong won the He Liang He Li Foundation Science and Technology Innovation Award. Gansu Daily wrote: Wang Xudong led a team to successfully develop a complete set of technologies for the protection of soil sites and ancient murals in arid environment, achieved the scientific and standardized protection, and made theoretical breakthroughs and technological innovations in the protection concept, disease care, protection technology and equipment. Its achievements are applied to more than 200 national key cultural relics protection projects in China, and technology radiation is carried out to the countries along the belt and road.

In 2005, Wang Xudong made a rescue roof in the frescoes of Loulan, Xinjiang

At the same time, Wang Xudong rescued many historic sites and key cultural relics in many areas.

Wang Xudong presided over the investigation, design and construction of major cultural relics protection projects (part)

Take Dunhuang to play across the border

Cultural relics need to be conservative, but culture needs innovation. In December 2014, Wang Xudong was appointed President and Secretary of the Party Committee of the Dunhuang Academy. He had a lot of brains in promoting Dunhuang culture.

Enter the official website of Digital Dunhuang and click to watch the caves. You will be shocked by the murals and sculptures that are clearly visible in front of the screen, as if you are visiting the Mogao Grottoes remotely. When enlarged, you can also see the delicate clothing texture of the Buddha statue. If you do not understand the mural content, you can use the text on the web page to help understand.

Appreciating Dunhuang Grottoes remotely through the Internet is part of the Digital Dunhuang project. This project began to explore in the 1990s. Under the vigorous impetus of Fan Jinshi, honorary president and former president of Dunhuang Research Institute, through the comprehensive digital collection, processing and storage of Dunhuang grottoes and related cultural relics, it will continue the life of grotto art with new methods and technical means and promote the study of Dunhuang studies worldwide.

At the end of April 2016, when Wang Xudong took office, the Digital Dunhuang Internet platform was launched, and netizens and researchers could explore 30 Dunhuang Grottoes online.

Touristsbody temperature, exhaled carbon dioxide and water vapor will cause irreversible damage to the murals. Wang Xudong has also used many methods in the face of the surging number of tourists. Since May 2015, Mogao Grottoes has implemented the one-vote system model of front-end digital experience + back-end entity cave visits. In order to cope with the annual number of tourists that has exceeded 2 million, Mogao Grottoes will launch six packages from April this year.

In 2017, the Dunhuang Research Institute was promoted to the first-class Museum of the state, which provided more opportunities and resources for the protection and promotion of Dunhuang Grottoes to a certain extent. During his tenure as president of the Dunhuang Academy of Sciences, Wang Xudong entered more than 30 universities with the Dunhuang Fresco Art Excellent College Public Welfare Tour Exhibition. At the same time, he often emphasized the internationalization of Dunhuang research and reached cooperation with multinational research institutes.

When the Palace Museum IP was hot, Dunhuang IP was also orderly launched under the promotion of Wang Xudong. Beginning in 2016, the Dunhuang Academys Cultural Creation Center has launched a custom-made course for wool and silk handicraft and Dunhuang color lipstick.

In recent years, Dunhuang Research Institute has also made great efforts in the field of creative products. By the end of 2017, 108 registered trademarks and 30 other intellectual property rights had been obtained. The annual sales volume of creative products was 170.83 million yuan, and more than 42 types of creative products had been developed. Emphasis was laid on the construction of the three major creative brands of interpreting Dunhuang under the stars, such as Dunhuang, chanting Dunhuang, and the development of mobile phones and readers by using Dunhuang elements in cooperation with millet, Amazon and Huawei.

Compared with more than 10,000 kinds of Palace Museum products, Dunhuang Wenchuangs volume and revenue scale are much smaller, its pace is smaller and its speed is slower, but it has three distinct characteristics: experiencing, branding and quality.

This is because the Dunhuang Research Institute has been focusing on the protection and rescue of grottoes, adhering to the principle of protection first, rescue first, rational utilization and management. Secondly, the number of visitors to Dunhuang Grottoes is much smaller than that of the Forbidden City, and Buddhist culture is much smaller, with obvious characteristics. Thirdly, it is also related to Wang Xudongs cautious attitude towards the development of Wenbo IP.

In an interview, Wang Xudong once said that the crude creation is not literary creation, and learned the lessons of the past. Dunhuang Research Institute must be careful in choosing partners and not be too impatient in the development of literary creation. Wang Xudong once questioned, Are you sincerely willing to do literary creation, or is it driven by social trends? Im afraid we have to figure this out first. Literary creation must not deviate from its value. It should be carried forward through cultural creativity rather than consuming it.

He emphasized that compassion, wisdom and beauty are the values of Dunhuang. We would rather slow down a little, or even not cooperate, than break through the bottom line. Mogao Grottoes are still there, and future generations will continue to do so. But if Dunhuang collapses in peoples minds, its hard to help it up again.

This is reminiscent of the top net red Forbidden City that Wang Xudong will be in charge of. In 2017, the annual sales of Palace Museum Wenchuang products amounted to 1.5 billion yuan, with more than 10,000 kinds. There were more than 480 kinds of mobile phone shells alone. Variety of movies and TV, APP and so on also blossomed everywhere. The topics of chafing dish and cafe were extremely high.

However, in the past two years, the leap-forward development of IP in the Palace Museum has also led to disputes over authorization and questioning of quality, and the activities of Lantern Festival Night Tour have been praised and criticized differently.

Undoubtedly, Wang Xudongs current chess game is not very good, but people are still full of expectations: Should we hold the Millennium Grottoes, why not hold the Forbidden City for 600 years? Source: Editor-in-Charge of China Business Network: Youyuan Garden_NO4712

Undoubtedly, Wang Xudongs current chess game is not very good, but people are still full of expectations: Should we hold the Millennium Grottoes, why not hold the Forbidden City for 600 years?