A photo of a pottery dog with Chinese text has been posted on Weibo by the Palace Museum's online store on Nov 30, 2015. The caption reads, "What?!" [Photo/Weibo]
The Palace Museum is having fun with some artifacts again by releasing a series of light hearted emotions unearthed from its numerous cultural relics on its official Weibo account, and has captured the hearts of Internet users.
Gugong Taobao, a store opened by the museum on China's leading online market place Taobao, has published nine pictures of cultural relics with amusing captions, inviting Internet users to "enjoy non-typical sculpture relics of the museum."
A crouching pottery dog with an open mouth made during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) is saying: "What?!"
A sitting arhat, or perfected person, made during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), appears to be digging in his ear and smiling, with a caption reading: "I can't hear what you say."
A photo of a sitting arhat with Chinese text has been posted on Weibo by the Palace Museum's online store on Nov 30, 2015. The caption reads, "I can't hear what you say." [Photo/Weibo]
A photo of a pottery figure with Chinese text has been posted on Weibo by the Palace Museum's online store on Nov 30, 2015. The caption reads, "I think I heard someone say I'm handsome." [Photo/Weibo]
A pottery figure with his left hand holding his ear, also from the Eastern Han Dynasty says: "I think I heard someone say I'm handsome."
Two pottery palace dancers, each with one arm stretching upward, are captioned: "give me five."
The pictures have been forwarded 17,141 times, and received 4,195 likes and 2,358 comments in less than 24 hours. Many readers couldn't help but laugh and some suggested they are "emojis from our ancestors".
"How can I stroll calmly in the museum in future after seeing these pictures?" said a Weibo user named soso_721.
"Stop being naughty! My office is so quiet that I literally will result in internal injury for holding back my laughs," said another.
A photo of two pottery palace dancers with English text has been posted on Weibo by the Palace Museum's online store on Nov 30, 2015. [Photo/Weibo]
A screenshot of a mobile phone holder sold in the Palace Museum's online store. [Photo/Taobao]
Last month, Gugong Taobao published several pictures of serious historical figures with surprisingly amusing gestures, such as the Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty wearing sunglasses and poet Li Qingzhao of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) making a victory sign, saying one of their designers has gone crazy.
After opening the online store in 2010, the Palace Museum has produced many creative and cute gadgets, and interacted with Internet users in a humorous way.
A mobile phone holder with an imperial bodyguard as a seat, a baggage tag engraved with four Chinese characters meaning "travel under imperial orders" and a fan with Yongzheng's replica autograph "I miss you too" are among the 7,000-odd cultural creative products popular among young people.
According to public data, sales surpassed 700 million yuan ($109 million) in the first half of this year, higher than last year's annual sales.
"We are trying every possible way to encourage people to take home the culture of Palace Museum," said Shan Jixiang, director of the museum.
Shan said his team needs to better understand the public's needs, dig out information from the museum's collection and use modern technology wisely.
Zhang Jingcheng, director of the China Creative Industry Research Center, said the museum has set a good example for the creative industry.
"By converting its historical and cultural resources into cultural creative products, the museum not only gets economical benefits but also spreads historic culture," Zhang said.
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