Gallery: China’s Treasures
Jade has been used in China for thousands of years -- it is considered more valuable than gold or diamonds. The stone is used to create ornaments, ceremonial weapons, and ritual objects.
Chinese lacquer ware dates back almost 7,000 years! Lacquer is made from the sap of lacquer trees. When the sap is exposed to air, it forms a plastic coat that is resistant to corrosion.
This ceremonial robe once belonged to Emperor Qianlong. The robe depicts a dragon, which serves as a symbol of imperial power and stands for importance and wealth.
The city of Leshan is famous for its Giant Buddha, the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world. The statue, which is carved into the side of a cliff, was built in 803 A.D. and is over 200 feet high.
Porcelain (a translucent piece of ceramic ware) is commonly referred to as "china" because it originated in China -- some believe porcelain was produced as early as the 16th century B.C.
Traditional Chinese brush painting has been practiced in China for more than six thousand years. Subject matters range from religious themes to landscapes and nature.
Paper cutting is a traditional Chinese art that has been practiced ever since the invention of paper. Colors and design patterns vary, but paper-cuts are usually used for religious and ornamental purposes.
Fans have been found in China since ancient times-- they can be made out of various materials, such as paper, bamboo, and silk. Fans are often turned into works of art, featuring paintings or calligraphy.
There are many legends in China about how silk was discovered -- China has been harvesting the power of silk worms for thousands of years. During the Han Dynasty the Silk Road was built to trade the precious material with the West.
The Yungang caves are cut into the cliffs of the Wuzhou Shan mountains. The caves contain over 50,000 Buddhist statues, some of which are the earliest Buddhist carvings in China.