Heavenly Horse – The Horse in Chinese Art and Culture
16 July 2008 – 13 October 2008
Special Exhibition Gallery
Jointly presented by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the Leisure & Cultural Services Department
Organized by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Art Exhibitions China
Sponsored by Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited
Horse and man have been connected in a fruitful relationship for some 6,000 years. Not only did man tame the horse, he also invented equipment for steering and riding this powerful animal and harnessing its potential. It is no exaggeration to say that the emergence of the domesticated horse changed the course of human history and development. China has its own unique equine culture. Tracing that culture's fascinating development, this exhibition featured approximately 60 artefacts from 28 heritage institutes in 14 provinces and autonomous regions. This was the first time that many of the artefacts displayed in Hong Kong, for example the Qin terracotta saddled horse, the gilt bronze steed, the post station pass from the Yuan dynasty and the Qing dynasty bronze horse head from Yuanmingyuan (the Old Summer Palace in Beijing). Held to coincide with Hong Kong's hosting of the equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, this exhibition brought together a wonderful variety of artefacts from a number of mainland museums and offered visitors a rare opportunity to see them all under one roof.
A Fully illustrated catalogue《Heavenly Horse- The Horse in Chinese Art and Culture》comprises all the artifacts displayed in the captioned exhibition, along with three excellent articles by Prof. Yang Hong, Prof. Sun Ji and Prof. Lin Meicun, which serves as a useful reference for those who are interested in the role of horse in Chinese art and culture.