“OI Watch” incorporates the remarkable weather predictions recorded within oracle bone inscriptions into its design: “Divining on guichou (day 50 of 60), tested: In the (following) 10-day week [there will be no mishaps]. On jiayin (day 51) at [the time of] big meal, rain came from the north. On yimao (day 52) at [the time of] small meal, it all became clear. On bingchen (day 53) at midday, heavy rain came from the south.” From the perspective of our modern twelve-hour clock, “big meal” (da shi) here is approximately 9am; “small meal” (xiao shi) is about 4pm; and midday (zhong ri) is noon. The Museum has pioneered the world’s first timepiece that combines both Shang dynasty and modern conceptions of time: the characters (jin, today) and (ren, human) found in oracle bone inscriptions are the hour and minute hands, respectively, and Shang expressions of time and the modern twelve-hour clock run hand in hand on the face of the wristwatch, weaving the days of old with moments in the present.
- Item No.
- III 思維-1
- 21st century
- Watch case diameter: 40±0.1 mm；Watch case thickness: 9.2±0.1 mm
- Mixed media
- III Thinking
Under contrasting temporal and spatial contexts, the lifestyles and social patterns of people from ancient times, and even their understanding of the world, likely differ substantially from those of our own. But by appreciating cultural relics and enjoying the displays that decipher their meanings, we are able to surmise and imagine their surrounding everyday settings and environments. Moreover, if able to utilize modern thinking and techniques, such as the new meanings applied by the cultural and creative development of the Museum, to both introduce the lived experiences of people in the past and ponder the ways of thinking of our forebearers, the notion of “knowing the past to understand the present” can unfurl and be realized.