Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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The railway between Chengdu and Kunming

  • Description

    The construction of the railway connecting Chengdu and Kunming was finished on 1 July 1970. Over 700 kilometres long, the line meanders through the mountainous region of southwest Sichuan province and northern Yunnan province. Starting from 500 metres above the sea level in the western Sichuan Plain, the railway traverses against the tide of Daduand Niuri rivers; goes along the Sunshui River, Anning River and Yalong River, then jumps into the 1,000-metres-high Jinsha River Valley. It then goes up the Longchuan River and finally reaches the 1,900-metres-high Dianzhong Plateau (literally ‘the center of Yunnan Province’).

    The construction of this railway was considered one of the major industrial achievements of the 1970s and this is one of the most important transport systems in southwestern China, enabling the construction of hydropower plants along the rivers as well as the transportation of metal from mines in Sichuan and Yunnan. The mountains and rivers along the railway are symbolically represented in this papercut.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia China (place of creation)
    AsiaChinaSichuan province Chengdu (subject)
    AsiaChinaYunnan province Kunming (subject)
    c. 1975
    Material and technique
    cut paper
    20.5 x 13.8 cm (height x width)
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    Technique index
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    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented by John Gittings, 2008.
    Accession no.


    • currently in research collection

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