On the 11th and 14th of December, Transition Year students travelled to Dublin for the day to view exhibitions in the Chester Beatty Library followed by a traditional Chinese meal.
At the Chester Beatty Library students were guided through the collections of several decorative Asian artefacts dating from mostly the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911). The Chinese collection included paintings, calligraphy, snuff bottles displaying Chinese craftsmanship, court textiles, a striking yellow silk Emperor’s Dragon Robe (1820-1850), manuscripts, three hand-written volumes of the Great Encyclopedia of the Yongle Era dated 1406, a group of fifteen intricately carved jade books, several painted scrolls and woodblock prints. Students were able to make comparisons between Chinese art to other East Asian artworks.
On this trip students were also able to view the temporary exhibition, ‘Gift of a lifetime - Treasures from our collection’ (18 Oct 2018 – 28 Apr 2019). On display were intricate pieces of artwork beautifully crafted for rulers and royalty, and treasures depicting the history of world religions. Within the collection a large variety of materials have been used for image-making, including inks, rare pigments and gold-leaf. Exhibition ‘Gift of a lifetime’ is certainly a recommendation to experience.
Upstairs in the library, students were also able to visit the permanent exhibition on World faiths: Ancient Egyptian Belief, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism in China, Japan and Asia. Students were able to make comparisons between Chinese Buddhism and other Asian beliefs.
After our cultural visit to the library, students visited a Chinese supermarket to practise their Mandarin vocabulary. Then we ventured on to a popular Chinese restaurant to experience a traditional Chinese meal. Students used their chopstick handling skills, which they practised previously in the classroom, to sample traditional Chinese cuisine and they tried some Asian tea. Students found the day a very nourishing and tasty experience! 很好 Hěn hǎo!