A series of Chinese landscape paintings selected from the Xubaizhai Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, currently on show until early February 2011, aims to give visitors an understanding of how natural sights are integrated with spiritual ideas.
Entitled "A Landscape Journey: Chinese Landscape Painting from the Xubaizhai Collection", the exhibition invites visitors to be transported by the paintings, to enjoy the pleasure of travelling without actually making the journey.
Landscape painting has great importance in the history of Chinese art despite being predated by figure painting. This unique genre of Chinese painting consists in the representation in lines, ink and colour of a natural vista or spiritual realm that stems from an internalised observation of the natural world. The keynote was struck when Zong Bing (375-443) of the Southern Dynasties (420-479) put forward his theories in "Preface to Landscape Painting". He believed such works were visual approximations of the Way, or Dao, which could be appreciated with a serene mind even in the comfort of one's home. Virtually transporting both the painter and the viewer into Nature, landscape painting lends itself not just to viewing but also to the sense that one is travelling and living in that natural environment. It is this idea that inspires the painter of landscapes and the viewers' appreciation of landscape paintings.
Landscape paintings form the bulk of the Xubaizhai Collection, which boasts masterpieces by great artists such as Shen Zhou (1427-1509), Dong Qichang (1555-1636), the Four Wangs of the Early Qing, Wu Li (1632-1718) and Gong Xian (1619-1689). In the current exhibition, the selected works are mainly from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) periods. Diverse in format, the vertical scrolls, albums and especially hand scrolls testify to how the painters of those days vividly recorded their daily life, travels and even their ideals and aspirations through landscapes depicted in brush and ink.
The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
For enquiries, call 2721 0116 or visit the Museum of Art's website, http://hk.art.museum.
Ends/Thursday, August 26, 2010
"Cooling off the hot summer" by Wen Zhengming of the Ming Dynasty.
"Viewing the spring at Cuijiao Peak" by Shi Tao of the early Qing
"Landscape in the style of Shen Zhou" by Yang Jin of the early Qing.