ITP 2011 diary: Xu Yin

June 30 – “the empty day”

Strike on the streets near the British Museum

Today is June 30th,the last day of this month and the tenth day in London. How time flies!

Today is very special,and it’s the first time for me to see a strike with my own eyes.It’s not easy to see in China, so I think it’s memorable. I want to say they look like so happy to fight for their own interests.

 I name today “the empty day ” for three reasons:

1\The “Annual Review Launch” was cancelled, and we had an empty early morning, which was nice.

2\Our programme schedule then changed again, and we were free until 12:00. This allowed us to spend time in the galleries.

3\Because of the strike, many important exhibition rooms were closed, and there was no visitor inside. I think that it’s a rare sight at the British Museum.

The Hotung Gallery at the British Museum - empty. A rare sight!

We spent time in two departments today: the Department of Coins and Medals and Asia Department(Chinese Jade Collections).

In the Department of Coins and Medals, Helen Wang  showed us the three floors with the collections of this department. We learnt about the the strict rules for visitors, and when moving the collections out of the storage.  We could not even take photos for security reasons, I feel  a little pity about that.

In the Asia Department,Carol Michaelson showed us the storage of Chinese Jade Collections. It’s so lucky to touch the artefacts,  pick them up and observe them under a magnification glass. Maybe we have different ideas about jade, but it’s worthwhile to discuss. After that, Margaret Sax showed us her research about the tools used to make jades objects. She is really a great scientist, and we have much to learn from her. She will send us her articles on more research – I’m looking forward to reading these.

Xu Yin, Project Assistant, Art Exhibitions China