Category Archives: Mind Philosophy 艺门

Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang 兵马俑与蔡国强

The Terracotta Army
Qin dynasty (221-206 BCE) (detail)
Earthenware (terracotta)
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum, Xi’an

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) presents the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, featuring a dual presentation of past and present Chinese art and culture. Opening in May, this exhibition will bring forth this concept by exhibiting the world famous ancient Terracotta Warriors alongside a parallel display of new works by famous contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.

Chariot #1 (Qin Dynasty Replica)
152.0 (h) x 225.0 (w) cm
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an (MMYL007)

The Terracotta Warriors are known as the guardians of immortality and the eighth wonder of the world. This exhibition will feature eight warrior figures and two life-size horses from the Imperial Army, as well as two half-size replica bronze chariots, each drawn by four horses. ‘The Transient Landscape’ by Cai Guo-Qiang on the other hand will see new art works inspired by his home country’s culture and its enduring philosophical traditions, including a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds. 

Soldier on horseback
Western Han Dynasty 206 BCE –25 CE
68.0 (h) x 63.0 (w) cm
Xianyang Museum, Xianyang (YQD014)


Kneeling Archer
Qin Dynasty 221–207 BCE
120.0 cm (H)
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s
Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an (2812)


Standing soldier
Western Han Dynasty 206 BCE –25 CE
49.5 (h) x 16.0 (w) x 12.0 (d) cm
Xianyang Museum, Xianyang (Y-1898)

Images courtesy of NGV

City of Ancient History & Good Food 必游的帝王之都 -西安

Formerly known as Chang’an, Xi’an is one important ancient city in the world that you absolutely must visit! It is now a popular tourist site because of its rich history and good food.

5 top places in Xi’an:

  1. Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
    Listed as a world UNESCO heritage site, the Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum located in the Lintong District is the tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. It also holds the world famous Terracotta Army.
  2. Bell Tower
    Built in the early Ming Dynasty, the Bell Tower of Xi’an is located right at the centre of the city and is an important landmark of Xi’an. It is one of its finest kind in China.
  3. Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area
    Known as the second cultural symbol of Shaanxi, the Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area is renowned for storing the Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha. One of its sectors, the Namaste Dagoba, has a fascinating theatre performance of the history of Famen Temple you should not miss!
  4. Qianling Mausoleum
    The Qianling Mausoleum is where tombs of the imperial family of the Tang Dynasty are located. This includes the tombs of the famous Emperor Tang Gaozong and his wife, Emperor Wu Zetian, the only female Emperor to ever rule in China.
  5. Muslim Quarter
    Rich in culture and it’s abundance of delicious food, the Muslim Quarter not only enclaves the majority of the Muslim population of Xi’an, but has also turned into one of the most visited tourist spots in the district!

5 top dishes in Xi’an:

  1. Biang Biang noodles
    Savoury and chewy in taste, the classic Biang Biang noodles made from wheat flour are served with vinegar and topped with assorted vegetables and braised meats. ‘Biang’ describes the sound made when the noodle dough is slapped against the working surface repeatedly.
  2. Liang Pi (凉皮)
    Made from wheat or rice flour, Liang Pi (Cold Skin Noodles) is a local snack where cold thinly sliced rice noodles are  drizzled with chilli oil sauce and topped with spices and vegetables. It is a yummy vegan dish!
  3. Rou Jia Mo(肉夹馍)
    Invented in the Qin Dynasty, Rio Jia Mo is the oldest hamburger in the world, It is a crispy handmade bread with tender stewed fatty pork patty stuffed in the middle! Other meat alternatives are also available.
  4. Yang Rou Pao Mo(羊肉泡馍)
    Yang Rou Pao Mo is a dish where hand-pulled flatbread crumbles are cooked in a flavourful mutton broth with rice vermicelli and topped with slices of lamb or beef of your choice and pickled sweet garlic. Hand-pulling the flatbread is also a time to gossip and socialize for locals!
  5. Suan Tang Shui Jiao (酸汤水饺)
    Suan Tang Shui Jiao with locally made mutton dumplings are boiled in a mouth-watering hot and sour soup. Every dumpling is an explosion of flavour! Sesame seeds, chopped leeks and cilantro are added to make the dish pop!






五大必吃的地道美食有: “BiangBiang”面、凉皮、肉夹馍、羊肉泡膜、酸汤水饺。

English  text by Madilyn Y , Chinese text & photography by Layzhoz Yeap

The Fascinating Pink 粉红魅力

Pink is unlikely the first colour that comes to mind as far as natural lakes are concerned, but Mother Earth does her wonders again. Not only one but in fact, there are quite a few dazzling pink-coloured lakes in Australia.

Unusual but definitely mesmerizing, the causes of this natural phenomenon of having the pinky-touch in the lake water can be varied, but the most common explanation is due to the existence of algae and salt. Depending on seasons and conditions, the colours can sometimes be more vibrant and bolder.

There is however, a forever-pink lake in Western Australia that does not go out of colour. Lake Hillier is a natural wonder on Middle Island, the largest of the islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Esperance.

Lake Hillier

The lake is about 600 meters in length, and is surrounded by a rim of sand and dense woodland of paperbark and Eucalyptus trees. A narrow strip of sand dunes covered by vegetation separates it from the blue Southern Ocean.

No-one fully understands why the lake is pink. Scientists speculate that the colour comes from a dye created by bacteria that lives in the salt crusts. Its pink colour is less accentuated when viewed from the surface but it is very prominent from above. 

The Lake Hillier was first discovered in 1802 by explorer Matthew Flinders who took samples from the lake and mentioned its existence in his journal.

The Pink Lake (Spencer Lake)

There are at least 3 pink lakes in Western Australia, but Spencer Lake is the only one that has been named as Pink Lake. However, it has not been ‘pink’ for quite a while, which is why the Pink Lake is often mistaken as Lake Hillier, even though they are located in two different places.

The Pink Lake is just 7 kilometers from the town of Esperance. Under the right weather conditions, the lake turns a soft shade of pink due to the high concentration of algae in the water. The lake has not turned pink for a while due to the climate.

Hutt Lagoon

From bright bubblegum pink to occasionally even red, the waters of Hutt Lagoon can be an extraordinary sight on the drive between Port Gregory and Kalbarri. The lake is believed to boast a pink hue created by the presence of carotenoid-producing algae, Dunaliella salina.

The lagoon is about 70 square kilometers with most of it lying a few meters below sea level. It is separated from the Indian Ocean by a beach barrier ridge and barrier dune system. 

Occasionally Pink 

Lake Eyre, South Australia

Lake Eyre is a dry expanse of shimmering salt in the South Australian Outback, in a basin so large that it crosses the borders of three states. As the lake dries up and the water evaporates, its salinity increases and it often appears to turn pink. This is in fact caused by a pigment found within an algae species that lives in the lake.

Pink Lake, Meningie – South Australia

On the road between Tailem Bend and Meningie is the Pink Lake. These pink lakes are quite common in dryer areas and are coloured by the presence of algae known as beta carotene in the waters.

Quairading Pink Lake, Western Australia

At certain times of the year, one side of the lake becomes dark pink, while the other side remains a light pink colour. During summer, evaporation causes the water level to drop and salt builds up on the banks and trees. When the water returns, the salt causes the pink colour.

Westgate Park’s lake, Victoria

Westgate Park’s Salt Lake turned pink in response to very high salt levels, high temperatures, sunlight and lack of rainfall. Algae growing in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake produces the red pigment (beta carotene) as part of its photosynthesis process and in response to the extremely high salt levels.

Murray-Sunset National Park, Victoria

There are four salt lakes in the park- Lake Crosbie, Lake Becking, Lake Kenyon and Lake Hardy. The lakes’ waters are actually crystal clear and the beds of the four lakes are made up of solid salt. However, it is the red algae (Dunaliella salina), which grows in the water that gives the lakes their pink hue. 







粉红湖(Spencer Lake)