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HomeArchaeologyChina’s Ancient Flying Horse of Gansu Artifact Becomes Cringeworthy Fad

China’s Ancient Flying Horse of Gansu Artifact Becomes Cringeworthy Fad


China loses it on a brand new nationwide fad. Chinese museum authorities have turned its most acknowledged cultural artifact into an “ugly” flying horse toy. To start with let’s have a look at the phrase “fad.” It means: “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived; a craze.” There is probably no higher phrase to explain the so-called “ugly but cute” stuffed flying horse toy that hardly resembles one of probably the most beneficial artifacts ever found in China, the 2000-year-old East Han dynasty bronze Flying Horse of Gansu.

Famous Flying Horse of Gansu As Stuffed Flying Horse Toy!

The Flying Horse of Gansu, or the Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow, is a well-known Chinese bronze sculpture that was solid within the 2nd century AD in the course of the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The horse was found in 1969 close to town of Wuwei, in northern China’s Gansu Province, and has lengthy been on outstanding show on the Gansu Provincial Museum .

Serving as China’s nationwide tourism image for over 20 years the Flying Horse of Gansu is amongst Asia’s most recognizable historical figures. According to a report in SCMP a shiny inexperienced stuffed flying horse toy was mass-produced by the Gansu Provincial Museum. Since happening sale in mid-June 2022 it has repeatedly been described as “ugly but lovely.” But this stuffed flying horse toys has confirmed so well-liked that it has offered out on-line and off, with a 25-day ready time for brand spanking new flying horse toy orders!

The legendary Han dynasty Chinese bronze Flying Horse of Gansu that has now been turned into a contemporary popular stuffed flying horse toy by the museum that has the bronze original! (G41rn8 / CC BY-SA 4.0)

The legendary Han dynasty Chinese bronze Flying Horse of Gansu that has now been changed into a up to date well-liked stuffed flying horse toy by the museum that has the bronze unique! (G41rn8 / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

An Icon of Romantic Imagination Turned To a Shallow Toy?

Weighing 7.3 kilograms (16 kilos) and measuring 34.5 centimeters (13.58 inches) excessive, the bronze horse was excavated from a tomb in Wuwei City, on the japanese finish of the Hexi (Gansu) Corridor. This is alongside the Silk Road route from southeastern China to the northwestern provincial capital at Lanzhou, a key defensive location in the course of the Han dynasty.

According to China Online Magazine “With the advent of great centralized empires Qin and Han, bronzes turned from august ritual vessels to common daily wares.” The majority of Han dynasty bronze artifacts had been mountain-shaped incense burners, barrel-shaped zuns for holding wine, and lamps or lanterns. The patterns on these bronze objects had been typically “teaming with romantic imagination toward immortal worlds.”

A replica of the Flying Horse of Gansu that was donated as a gift to the city of Lexington Kentucky, USA in June 2000. (Jlmallia / CC BY-SA 4.0)

A reproduction of the Flying Horse of Gansu that was donated as a present to town of Lexington Kentucky, USA in June 2000. (Jlmallia / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

The Popular Green Stuffed Flying Horse Toys Come in Two Styles!

A 2017 CTGN article concerning the Flying Horse of Gansu bronze masterpiece defined how the “horse’s posture, neighing and speed are believed to be perfect symbols of the enterprising and persevering spirits of China.” And it is for that reason the picture has been used up to now afield world wide. During 1973 the horse was exhibited in Britain however in 2002 the State Administration of Cultural Heritage included the Bronze Galloping Horse within the first listing of 64 grade-one cultural relics which are “forbidden to be exhibited outside China.”

As if one weren’t fairly sufficient, the stuffed flying horse toy is available in two types. The first contains a crooked-mouthed inexperienced horse with open forelegs perched with one leg on a comedic, little fats inexperienced chook. You may discover, as I did, that this chook resembles an “Angry Bird” from that mega-addictive life-sucking sport of 2017. This first model of the toy prices 99 yuan (15 {dollars} or 14 euros). The second model one coats 50 yuan (7.5 {dollars} or 7 euros), and it’s described by the museum as trying “almost the same” because the Gansu Bronze Galloping Horse sculpture.

Every Museum Visitor Takes Photos with the Flying Horse Toys

Earlier this week a put up appeared on the museum’s official WeChat account saying they now “only have two exhibits,” of the 2 new stuffed toys. “Every visitor takes photos with the toys,” the museum boasted.

And these specific toys aren’t simply talked about and photographed, however they’re being purchased for onerous money by the truck load! The SCMP article says, “more than 23,000 people have bought the toy since it went on sale on June 14”. A critical fad certainly. But a fad all the identical.

Top picture: The Gansu Provincial Museum’s stuffed flying horse toy (left) based mostly on the well-known 2000-year-old bronze Flying Horse of Gansu (proper) turns into museum’s hottest memento. Source: Weibo

By Ashley Cowie

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