”In the midst of firecrackers goes the old year, And spring wind lends warmth to the Tusu wine. At countless doors, new peach wood charms appear, In place of the old, the world bathed in the sunshine.” (元日, New Year’s Day, Wang Anshi)
One of the hidden particular places in Amsterdam is Ripley’s Believe-It-or-Not Museum, a building whose windows have, during the night, the most inspiring colors from Dam Square! Their way of playing with light makes you wonder about the hidden ideas from its background, going back to the similar moment you encounter when you start listening to a musical composition and you can’t wait for finding out its title.
For the Chinese New Year, known as the Lunar New Year, the museum gives you an insight into some of the Chinese wonders. Shake hands with history and admire the beauty of real Oriental dolls, figures of nobility from the Shang Dynasty, collected by Ripley from China during his multiple visits. Believe it Or Not, they represent people from the earliest Chinese Dynasty supported by archaeological evidence, dating from 1600-1050 BC. Meet a pair of Chinese Foo Lions Statues near an original Chinese floor Lamp Ripley was very fond of. This specific culture was fascinating for Robert LeRoy Ripley in an unspoken way. He had a preference for performing in Chinese robes and for serving his guest’s sophisticated Chinese feasts. Let yourself be amazed by the largest insects measuring 13” long and by the Chinese Medicinal Snake Wine; believed by the locals to cure many diseases.
While in the moonlight things change their meanings, illusions do come true in this museum! The space room will make you play with the limits of your body’s center of gravity! Discover figures as Liu Ch’ung, a four eyed-man, or Che Mah; a 28 ” tall man having a pony-tail 13 feet long! A pure white sculpture designed by Xie Man Hua of Guangzhou, China; carved in camel bones along with an 18th century Japanese Empress’ Imperial palanquin sedan chair will delight your senses towards beauty and aesthetics. Allow yourself to think about those etheric moods experienced by Ripley while enjoying his oriental pipe and about the pressure felt by women through the technique of foot binding during the 10th century in China.
The gallery of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Amsterdam places light in contrast with darkness until the moment they become inseparable: from the happiness of seeing the world through the eyes of a child with superheroes like Hulk or a huge transformer to facts about German Nazis Camps, from ways of torturing people to the beauty of fragility expressed through artistic mediums, from the wonders of aquatic life to Ripley’s cartoons focusing on all his founded oddities and amazements experienced during his journeys.
Along with the color red, which will not be missing from the decorations; you can have a virtual reality or 5D Moving Theatre experience. Which will allow you to be in two different worlds at the same time! And don’t miss the Chinese tea flavors from the lounge of the museum!
Visiting this Odditorium can become a personal ritual for evicting demons in the Chinese New Year, Believe it Or Not!
Moving meditation for the Lunar New Year by Andreea State