The British Museum Exhibition Of A Nation 's Cultural Resources

1407 Words Dec 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Soft power was popularized as a term in the 1990s when Joseph Nye wrote of the ways “a nation’s cultural resources constitute a form of power that enhances, or even substitutes for military and economic strength” (Hunter 2009, 374-5). In this case, China is utilizing its cultural resource, the terracotta army, to propel themselves forward without the use of military or business tactics. It can be inferred that China is using peaceful means to project its power onto the world stage, through culture, art, and artifact (Hunter 2008, 284). China is placing a highly orchestrated (literally, curated) story into the minds and eyes of hundreds of thousands of exhibition goers in all of the powerful, wealthy, Western countries of the world. Specific vocabulary is being used, specific music, imagery, and lighting, is being selected and projected. A very specific story is being told in each of these exhibitions. The British Museum exhibition utilized imagery of stone faces, not illuminated to see the details, but drenched in stripes of darkness to emphasize the mysterious, subterranean existence of the statues. (Portal and Kinoshita 2007). Press releases from Atlanta’s High Museum emphasized the “legacy” of the “iconic,” magnificent warriors. (High Museum 2008). The Canadians called the Chinese culture “fascinating” and “captivating”, and again, emphasized the “legacy” of the army (Royal Ontario Museum 2010). And in Sydney, the story of The First Emperor: China’s Entombed Warriors…
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