World-class exhibition opens at Taupo Museum

3/09/2018 4:00 p.m.

A world class exhibition featuring artefacts over 1000 years old has opened in Taupo.
Suzhou Faith and Life, 618AD – 1279AD features treasures from the Tang and Song dynasties dating back to 618AD.
This is the first time an exhibition of this age and significance has been hosted by Taupo Museum. It is on loan from Suzhou Museum as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Taupo’s sister city relationship with Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
Mayor David Trewavas said that Suzhou Museum was one of the great international museums. “We are fortunate to have this unprecedented opportunity to share these ancient artefacts with our district through our relationship with Suzhou. Taupo’s friendship with the people of Suzhou has developed over the years to include civic exchange trips, exhibitions and the sharing of knowledge and skills. Increasing our understanding of the Chinese way of life through this relationship has helped to break down cultural barriers and bring our communities closer together” he said.
Library and museum manager Luisa Haines said visitors to the exhibition will have a glimpse of a fascinating ancient world. “Suzhou was one of China’s earliest great cities, located right at the heart of some of the world’s largest trading routes at the time – the Silk Road and Grand Canal. The exhibition features some very special items, including a replica Pearl Pillar (a Buddhist Holy Relic), carved wooden figurines from burial sites and delicately glazed celadon pottery” she said.
Four delegates from Suzhou Museum attended the opening on August 30 at Taupo Museum - Chen Ruijin (Director), Wang Juying (Senior Administrator), Zhang Fan (Senior Governance Secretary), Yan Xiao (Board Member). The event also included the unveiling of a 4.2 tonne 2.4 metre high granite archway in Taupo’s Tongariro South Domain.


The Chinese city of Suzhou is one of the great ancient cities of the world. It is located in the heart of the Silk Road and the Grand Canal - trading routes that began over a thousand years ago.
Suzhou's beautifully preserved ancient buildings, winding canals and 3,681 bridges are a drawcard for tourists. These features, along with its UNESCO World Heritage classical gardens, mean the city is commonly referred to as the Venice of the East.


  • During the Tang Dynasty, gunpowder, waterproofing, gas stoves, and air conditioning were invented.
  • Early followers of the Chinese religion Taoism were involved in alchemy, hoping to make gold or finding an elixir of immortality.
  • During the Tang Dynasty China was ruled by its only female empress in history – Empress Wu.
  • Kublai Khan, one of the great leaders of Mongolia, lead an army in the 13th century that eventually took over 1/5 of the globe, including all of China.
  • White porcelain was invented in China. The production process was a closely-guarded secret for hundreds of years, and it was commonly known as ‘china’ in the many countries that imported it.
  • Tea originated in China, and was a highly prized trading item along with silk.


Suzhou Faith and Life, 618AD – 1279AD​ runs until Novemb
er 11 and is open every day of the week. It is free to local residents and all children, with visiting adult’s $5 and seniors and tertiary students $3.

September 3 2018.

Lisa Nairne • Head of Communications and Customer Relations • 07 376 0762 • 027 839 8410
Andy Taylor • Senior Communications Advisor • 07 376 0781 • 027 570 4651

Page reviewed: 04 Sep 2018 8:51am