The Pacific Science Center opened its doors on Thursday for a preview of its newest exhibition; Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor. Originally belonging to the People’s Republic of China, The Terracotta Army exhibition features artifacts that date back to the first emperor of China, over 2,000 years ago. The event was hosted speakers such as former First Lady of Washington Mona Lee Locke, former Governor of Washington Gary Locke, and President and CEO of the Pacific Science Center Will Daughtery. All speakers emphasized the importance that this hold not only in our local community, but nationally as well.
Terracotta warriors on display at the Pacific Science Center.
Dr. Lisa C. Niziolek, a guest curator, served as one of key players in making the Terracotta Warriors a possibility. Niziolek expressed that even though the exhibit is depiction of an event that happened many years ago, it is an historical example that still stands to educate the many during this trying time.
“It focuses on a very pivotal time in Chinese history when the country was unified for the first time under the first emperor,” said Niziolek. “I think especially at this point in time it’s important to sort of develop cultural understanding between the United States and China, and sort of expose people to innovations that were not necessarily those of modern western society.”
The Terracotta Warriors, and archeology in general, can expand one’s mind to better understand the world. They allow for nations to work together, a bind themselves in a manner that impacts decisions in the present and future. Niziolek noted that this is an important point that is currently needed in the US due to its political division.
“Right now for the US there’s a lot of division politically. I think it’s really important to see sort of the roots of successful unification that go back more than 2000 years in China,” said Niziolek. “I think that’s an important lesson for sure and sort of developing an appreciation for possible different leadership styles as well, so even though throughout chinese history dynasties change, leaders changed, the country maintained its unity.”
Senior political science major Demetra Annest shared similar viewpoints to that of Niziolek.
“About exposing us to Chinese culture and history and it gives people a little more insight into what Chinese history is about.”
Annest continued to explain that by having insight into Chinese history, we can have better relations with them, a relationship she believed was on the mend.
“Doing a little better, and we seem to be aiming for good relations with them.”
Even though some may see this a political stance, or an opportunity improve upon the relationship between the United States and China, some see the Terracotta exhibit merely as interesting art exhibit, an opportunity to experience history.
“I want to see them because I feel like it’s one of those things you should see,” said physics and math major AJ Fish, who preferred to see the warriors in a non political light.
The Terracotta Warrior exhibition will be on display at the Pacific Science Center through September 4. Visit pacificsciencecenter.org for more information.
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