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Home>>Life >> Culture
08:14, August 21, 2009

Exhibition "Memory of a City" opens in Beijing

The memories of Beijing are making an overwhelming comeback in a new exhibition called "Memory of a City", which opened at the Capital Museum on Tuesday. (CCTV.com Photo)

A long obsolete radio set, a rust-eaten bicycle, and dog-eared comic books these are the items embedded in the collective memory of those growing up in the 60s and 70s in the Chinese Capital. The memories of Beijing are making an overwhelming comeback in a new exhibition called "Memory of a City", which opened at the Capital Museum on Tuesday.

These items are no longer in popular use, but they are an integral part of one's memory and cannot be forgotten.

Home life in Beijing has changed tremendously over the last six decades. A typical setting in the 1950s usually reflected a Spartan lifestyle. Without the modern conveniences of a TV set, a radio, or even a telephone, life was simple and down-to-earth.

Bicycles are so fixed into the memory of Beijing that it was once called a city on two wheels. This ubiquitous transportation vehicle for the household makes it an indispensable part of the exhibition. Radios and TV sets were a rarity even in the 70s. With a screen smaller than that of a laptop, the tellies managed to provide many years of entertainment for Beijing households.

Altogether, one-thousand items are on display. They are gathered from the Chaoyang District Cultural Center. The institution spent over ten years collecting these oldies.

Mu Hongli said, "When we preparing the exhibition, we had three intentions in mind. First, it is an exhibition for the masses. The items may lack historical value, but they are significant at some point for people who lived here. Secondly, it reflects the changes that have taken place over sixty years. Lastly, it's dedicated to the city of Beijing."

Organizers say they are practically retrieving items from the garbage bin and putting them on display, for these items are no longer found in Beijing homes.

But the sheer weight of history of these exhibits needs to be revalued and cherished as part of the memory of childhood, and of a city we lived in and loved.

Source: CCTV online
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