Beijing, Sep 28 An exhibition featuring exquisite sculptures from fourth and seventh centuries of Indian and Chinese civilisations opened here today, highlighting the flourishing trade and cultural ties between the two countries through ancient Silk Road over 2,000 years ago.
A total of 56 rare sculptures from India connected to the Gupta period along with 109 carvings from China's Tang dynasty which simultaneously ushered in a golden era in both the countries during fourth to seventh centuries were on display at the exhibition which was inaugurated here at the prestigious Palace Museum.
This exhibition showcases the collective contribution of India and China during a major era in mankind's history, Indian Ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale, who inaugurated the event, said. Referred as "Common Era", the fourth and seventh centuries were regarded as the most productive period in the history of both the countries.
"In India the Gupta Empire brought two centuries of political unity and prosperity; China under the Tang dynasty reached unparalleled level of economic and cultural prosperity. The creative impulses of the Indian and Chinese people were given full play," Gokhale said.
That was the time both the countries had an outpouring of creative works in literature, music, arts and sciences which enriched their people and the world, he said. The exhibition also has a modern strategic connotation as it highlights the ancient Silk Road, which China now seeks to recreate with billions of dollars of investments to revive its sagging economy.
Unlike the present one named as 'One Belt and One Road', which is China's own initiative, the ancient Silk Road was a two way street with goods moving out of China and the knowledge flowing out of India though the Dharmaratna Marg.
"China's Silk Road was creating opportunities for merchandise trade across Asia including with the Gupta Empire," Gokhale said. He said India's Dharmaratna Marg (Spiritual Road) simultaneously forged by earlier generations of Indian scholar-monks became the channel for the flow of cultural and intellectual ideas between India, China and Central Asia.
Officials say the exhibition at the Palace Museum, located at China's iconic Forbidden City, the seat of power of successive Chinese emperors highlights the two way India-China engagement during the golden age of the two countries.
The message of peace and new techniques in mathematics, medicine, arts and sculpture travelled northwards, to be translated into new artistic and scientific discoveries by China under the Tang dynasty, Gokhale said.