Patterns from Dunhuang have been adopted in the building of many landmark structures inChina. Music and dance have been composed according to the images and historicaldocuments from Dunhuang. She believes Dunhuang still has a lot to offer that will impact modernculture.
Unlike in Italy or France where great artworks were attributed to very famous artists, in Dunhuangthe artists and craftsmen hardly left any personal record.
Guan Youhui, 83, a researcher who has worked in Dunhuang since 1954, says this was becausethe artists then earned poorly and had low social status.
Among the historical records in the grottoes, he once found a contract signed by a craftsmanselling his son because of poverty.
"Nobody as they were, those ancient artists had great techniques and created masterpieces thathave survived centuries," he says.
Dunhuang opened its grottoes to visitors in 1979. At the beginning, it received no more than40,000 visitors a year, but this year 1.1 million people went to see the grottoes. This has broughtlots of challenges in the protection of Dunhuang, Wang says.
In order to minimize the damage caused by large numbers of tourists, Dunhuang's authoritieshave imposed restrictions on visits to the grottoes, and a new reservation system is in place.
"Please remember to make a reservation online before you visit," says Fan.
"Otherwise you will have to wait in a long line, and be able to access only a few grottoes andopen zones."
She also suggests visitors avoid the summer vacation and national holidays when the area iscrowded.
If you go
10 am－6 pm, Tuesday-Sunday, until March 20, 2016
Shanghai Himalayas Museum, 3F, Zone A, Himalayas Center, 869 Yinghua Road, Pudongdistrict, Shanghai