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Safeguarding Dunhuang art

Dunhuang Academy China was established in 1944 to safeguard Dunhuang art which is of great cultural significance. Chang Shuhong, the first Director of the academy, exerted himself to study and protect Mogao Grottoes. Chang’s daughter Chang Shana says her father has determined to dive into Dunhuang study since he met the French scholar on Sinology Paul Pelliot and his Dunhuang Collection in Paris. Chang Shuhong once said: “I’m not a Buddhist. I do not believe in reincarnation. However, if there was a chance to become a human being in the afterlife, I would like to be Chang Shuhong again to accomplish the unfinished work.”

Others followed in his footsteps. Generations of artists journeyed to Dunhuang to copy many of the Mogao mural paintings. Some of their replica works were on display at the “Dunhuang Art Exhibition” held at Beijing-based NAMOC.


What’s more, some original woks created by artists of Dunhuang Academy China were also exhibited, aiming to show that they not only succeed the traditional Dunhuang spirit but also attach importance to innovation. Hou Liming, the Director of Art Institute of Dunhuang Academy China, says the mission of the present Dunhuang Academy China is to maintain and protect Dunhuang art heritage using modern technique. Every artist devoted to Dunhuang art protection should go to great lengths to keep the rich art legacy shining and charming for ever.

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