Dunhuang, History’s Heavenly Stage, Flying Apsaras (1 of 8)

Flying Apsaras

This is the first of an eight-part series by China Central Television (CCTV) on the interplay between the murals in the Mogao Caves and contemporary art in China.

The caves house one of the largest art collections in the world, and they contain an enormous amount of historical information about dress, musical instruments and many other social artifacts.

In the modern period painters and dancers have been inspired by the caves and have dedicated much of their time to recreating their work based on the inspiration the caves provide.

The first of the series focuses on the apsaras (angels or heavenly maidens) that are found in many of the murals in the caves from all ages.

The caves were about 1,000 years in the making and art styles changed during that time, so we see in this film how the ways of depicting the apsaras changed and became more delicate.

We also have interviews with leading experts in the field to find out background information on the caves, and with artists who have been fascinated by the murals and looked to them when creating new works today.

 

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