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State Library of South Australia opens major international exhibition.

From the home of Confucius, Shandong Province, comes an exhibition steeped in 3,000 years of Chinese civilisation and history. One mountain, one river, one sage: Treasures from the Shandong Library opens at the State Library of South Australia on Friday 7 September 2018 and tells the stories of Shandong Province through rare pieces from the Shandong Library. Visitors will be able to explore ancient everyday life in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province, and learn about key historical figures, such as Confucius, Mencius, and the Emperors.

The State Library of South Australia is honoured to be working with the Shandong Library to bring this significant exhibition of treasures that have never been shown outside of China to Australia. This exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see treasures at the State Library of South Australia that are rarely on public display in China.

One mountain, one river, one sage, a well-known Shandong saying, represents the importance of nature (Mount Tai and the Yellow River) and philosophy (Confucius) in Chinese history and culture. These themes will be reflected in the exhibition which features over 60 original items and includes ancient books, press plates, calligraphy tools, paintings, wall hangings and stone rubbings. The oldest original items on display will be five books of Yongle Beizang Buddhist sutras, which were engraved and printed between 1419 and 1440.

The relationship between the State Library and Shandong Library is the result of an agreement to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, through sharing cultural and library knowledge. Both libraries share similar goals to collect and preserve the history and stories of our communities and make these available to all.

Geoff Strempel, Acting Director State Library of South Australia, says:

“We are pleased to welcome our colleagues from Shandong Library to South Australia and to be a part of this valued two-way exchange of cultural and library expertise. As the keepers of the memories and stories of generations of South Australians, it is fitting to connect and enrich the South Australian community with opportunities to engage with, and learn more about Chinese history and culture.”

Liu Xianshi, Director Shandong Library, comments:

“Mount Tai, the Yellow River and Confucius hold great importance in the development and traditions of Chinese culture. This exhibition represents, through the display of our valued rare items, the Chinese social ideals of peace, prosperity, kindness and harmony.

Also reflected is the importance of educating Chinese people about the essence of their culture and preserving it for future generations”.

Not to be missed, One mountain, one river, one sage: Treasures from the Shandong Library is on display at the State Library of South Australia until 20 January 2019.


Ms Li Yonghui, Vice Director, Shandong Library will be available for media interviews on Friday, 7 September 2018, from 10 to 11.30am, in the State Library Gallery, ground floor. Please note an interpreter will be available during this time.


One mountain, one river, one sage: Treasures from the Shandong Library 7 September 2018 – 20 January 2019
Open daily during Library hours (except public holidays) State Library of South Australia
Corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue
Free entry


Mark Gilbert
Marketing Content Librarian
State Library of South Australia
Phone: 08 8207 7355
Mobile: 0403 934 678

Download the media release

Image caption: Loyal Dog from Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio, Pu Songling (1640-1715), coloured drawing, 1851-1908, Qing DynastyImage courtesy of Shandong Library.