Chinese Ceramics Gallery (Song Dynasty)

Ceramics can be appreciated in depth by enjoying the subtle differences of hues of the glaze colors. The ideal way to view ceramics is thus place the object under natural light where a same degree of luminous intensity can be maintained. Celadon in particular, having the most delicate tone of glaze among ceramics, is easily affected by the type of light source and its condition. In the ancient times, it was said that a proper condition to view celadon ware is “on a sunny autumn day at around ten o’clock in the morning, in a room facing the north, into which natural sun light comes filtering through the shoji or sliding paper doors”. Speaking of appreciating ceramic works, no artificial light surpasses natural light to show the objects effectively. In our Museum, in order to create the best possible condition for art appreciation, we made the world’s first attempt to introduce daylight only into the display cases while keeping the room dark. After tireless trials and errors, we were able to develop the optical duct day-lighting system, which was a satisfactory achievement. Moreover, we adopt special type of glass for the natural light display cases in order to display the objects even more effective. Laminated glass, made by nearly colorless white plate glass that contains almost no iron, protects the objects in the case. The anti-reflection processing made on the glass surface prevents light reflection which disturbs the viewers. As a result, the gallery became an ideal room for displaying ceramics, in which visitors can view the objects exposed to natural daylight as if viewing without display cases.