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National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan*
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Stories of the Caves
The 4th Exhibition Gallery and the Corridor Outside
April 26 – October 1, 2017

Located at China's western frontier, the ancient city of Dunhuang was at a crossroads of the civilizations of East Asia, Central Asia, and the Western world. It emerged as a global hub of art, culture, and trade along the Silk Road. For around a thousand years, hundreds of grottoes at the Mogao, -“peerless”- Caves, were carved by hand into a mile-long stretch of cliff face, and painted with elaborate visual narratives covering the walls and ceilings. The great artistic and religious wonder of the world offers a rare window into a vibrant multicultural past along the Silk Road.

NMNS hosted its first Dunhuang exhibition back in 1999, called “Dunhuang – The Pearl in the Desert”. Within a half year, the number of the attendees reached over 55 thousand people. 18 years later, both the academic research and preservation of the Dunhuang Caves have made significant progress.

This April, the Museum reenacts the glorious Dunhuang at its best. We specifically pick different artifacts in this exhibition. Hosted by the Museum and co-hosted by Dunhuang Research Academy, the special exhibition of “Dunhuang – Stories of the Caves”, the biggest of its kind in Taiwan, will give our audience another glimpse of this cultural treasure with a representative selection of photographs, ancient manuscripts, pottery, religious scripting, and artist renditions. There is also a 13-meter high sleeping Buddha statue from the Mokao Grottoes.


The exhibition areas have 6 topics. It starts with the history, geography and geology of Dunhuag. It then explains the distribution, the digging, and the architecture of the caves. The third topic dives into the wells, and the architectural decorations as well as the paintings, statues, and cave duplications. The fourth topic introduces the treasure found in the Caves, including the religious scripting, documents, and artifacts. The fifth topic explains the destruction and the rebirth of the Caves, it tells the story of how the Dunhuang Caves has transformed from an unmanaged state into the worldwide attention of people who study the middle-age cultures. The sixth and the last topic focus on the repair and preservation of the Caves.

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Combining items from the Dunhuang Caves at different times, this exhibition is also a time-lapse journey of its art. We offer a series of accompanying interactive contents such as VR experiences, guided tours, talks, and a variety of educational activities allowing our audience to get a deeper insight into the world’s heritage.

Dunhuang: Stories of the Caves” is something you don’t want to miss!

  • Dunhuang is a ticketing exhibition. The ticket price for the main exhibition is NT$180, and NT$50 for the multimedia exhibition. For those who purchase the main exhibition ticket, the multimedia exhibition can be purchased additionally for just NT$20.
  • Professional guided tours are available at 10AM, 11AM, 2PM, and 3PM during the exhibition dates.
  • For more information, please go to our Chinese website.

Dunhuang: Stories of the Caves is organized and presented by the National Museum of Natural Science in collaboration with Dunhuang Research Academy.