Museum day at Xinghai square
(written by Ella and Marlies)
The last time we went to the city with Vivian we found out that bus nr. 404 is going from our ‘home’ to a shopping mall near the Xinghai square. We decided to visit a couple museums surrounding the square. So we took bus nr. 404 to the Dalian museum. The museum is a big modern building with a dome on the roof and a big plaza in front of it. A big locomotive on this plaza is an eye catcher whenever you pass the museum. We first thought the museum would contain contemporary art, but we soon found out that it was more about the history of Dalian. We started at the second floor, where we could follow a path through the history of the city. We could only look at the pictures, photo’s and objects, because everything was in Chinese, but nevertheless very interesting.
On the top floor there was an exhibition of ceramics showing all kinds of pots with beautiful colors and glaze. The pots were all made by one artist. The final exhibition we saw was on the first floor. This was a group exhibition about modern Chinese writing. This should be very interesting, but because we couldn’t read it the meaning of the works was lost on us. We did enjoy the aesthetics of the delicate writing.
Next stop was the Shell museum on the other side of the square. The way around the square was an adventure. First we encountered many people dressed in suits on the sidewalk. They turned out to be selling houses and apartments on the street, each salesman/ women had his own poster on the ground with advertisements, floor plans and pictures. They were literally everywhere.
Halfway we had a quick stop at an inside market. This was a huge hall with hundreds of market stands, where you could buy about everything: fruit, minerals, weird looking pointy fishes, jewelry, meat and so much more!
The Shell museum is in a shell formed building with thousands of shells exhibited on four floors spiraling up. We thought that the museum was a very peaceful and the collection was beautifully presented. The music made the whole experience even more relaxing and we really enjoyed all the different forms, colors and textures of the shells. The exhibition continued in the basement, with fossils and squids.
During our museum day we had to cross the busy Xinghai square several times, which took some bravery. But eventually we mastered the Chinese way of crossing the roads.