National Museum of Chinese Writing (NMCW) is a state-level museum constructed upon the approval of the State Council for preserving, showcasing and studying the cultural relics. November 16, 2009 witnessed the grand opening ceremony of the Museum and the presentation of Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC, Liu Yandong, member of the Central Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC and State Councilor, Chen Zhili, vice chairperson of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and chairwoman of All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF), Chen Kuiyuan, vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and president of Chinese Academy of Social Science, and Xu Jialu, vice chairman of the 10th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and other leaders of CPC and the country. Li Changchun announced the opening of NMCW. Liu Yandong, on behalf of the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council, gave an important speech.
Situated in Anyang, Henan, NMCW is a post-modernist building cluster combining the modern architecture style and the Shang Dynasty’s court design. Phase I of NMCW, covering an area of 81 mu with a building area of 22,700 square meters and gross investment of 397,51 million yuan, consists of a main hall, a square and a Character Archway, mainly for cultural collection and presentation. Phase II of NMCW, covering an area of 175 mu with a building area of 32,000 square meters and a budgetary investment of 319,80 million yuan, mainly consists of a Scientific Research Center, a Science Popularization and Exchange Center, the world most authoritative language, information and data center, a Hall for Learning Oracle-Bone Inscriptions, the Character Culture Show and Exhibition Center and culture and art parks including the “Sea of Learning” and the “Mountain of Characters”, focusing on academic exchanges and scientific researches.
Character Archway, an icon building of NMCW, will catch your eyes immediately upon access into the Museum. Archway, one of the important building modes in ancient China. As a scenic landmark, it is a typical symbol of Chinese culture. The Character Archway in NMCW, measuring 18.8m in height and 10m in width, is presented in the shape of “字 (zi, meaning character)” in the style of inscriptions on bones and bronzes and decorated with the Taotie (a mythical ferocious animal in ancient China) pattern, showing a primitive and solemn pose to harmonize itself with the overall architectural style of NMCW as an indicative symbol of the Museum. On both sides of the archway stands a cooper-made golden phoenix. The sculptures borrow the familiar phoenix patterns in bronze ware of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. The noble and elegant phoenixes are ready to fly, symbolizing the new leap of China’s character civilization in the new era.
A Stele Forest consisting of 28 copper oracle pieces is along both sides of the artery to the main hall, implying the two most representative elements in the Shang Dynasty, i.e., the inscriptions on bones or turtle shells and the bronze ware, and the 28 constellations, a harmonious unity of human beings and the nature and a vivid interpretation of China’s ancient philosophy of “unity of heaven and man”. Lingering in the Stele Forest, we can not only embrace the permeating cultural aura of the Shang Dynasty but also experience the great wisdom of China’s ancestors in the invention and application of characters and language.
The 32.5m-high main hall of NMCW applies the Taotie and Panchi (a hornless dragon in ancient folklore) pattern prevailing in the Shang Dynasty as the relief decor for its golden roof, representing the effect of “four-story building structure” used in the Shang’s palaces. The building both implies the connotation of Chinese character culture and highlights the critical position of character throughout the great civilization history of China. The brilliant appearance of the main hall unites itself with the picturesque surroundings, showcasing a great harmony between culture and nature.