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Publication and Press Releases

Graphic: Press ReleasesGraphic: September
 
Museum of Art features Min Chiu Society's gems of Chinese art
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     About 340 Chinese art treasures thoughtfully selected from the collections of the Min Chiu Society’s members will be on show at "The Grandeur of Chinese Art Treasures: Min Chiu Society Golden Jubilee Exhibition" at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from tomorrow (September 25) until January 2, 2011.

     Featuring a variety of artefacts and antiques ranging from calligraphy, paintings and ceramics to jade ware, bronze ware, gold and silver ware, lacquer ware, carvings in bamboo, wood and rhinoceros horn, glass ware, snuff bottles, as well as furniture and stationery items from the Chinese scholar's studio, covering the period from the Neolithic to the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the exhibition will be a golden opportunity for visitors to appreciate the exquisiteness of Chinese art.

     The exhibition was officially opened today (September 24) by Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang. Other officiating guests were the Chairman of the Min Chiu Society, Dr Leo K K Wong, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung, and the Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu.

     Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Min Chiu Society and organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the exhibition comprises prized collections mostly on loan from the members of the Min Chiu Society and partly from the Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The University Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong.

     The collection and preservation of and research into cultural treasures have a long history in China. As early as the Shang (c. 1600 BC – 1100 BC) and Zhou (c. 1100 BC – 256 BC) periods, the royalty and nobility regarded building a collection as of prime importance. The role of collectors has contributed tremendously to the preservation of cultural artefacts in China through the acts of acquisition, preservation, collection, appraisal and study. Their efforts have enabled people today to see ancient artefacts in their true form. In so doing, they are enlightened by each encounter, and gain a better understanding of their civilisation by travelling back a few hundred, or even a few thousand, years in time. It is this very knowledge of the past that enables people to shape the continuum of their legacy and heritage for generations to come.

     In Hong Kong, such a vision brought together a group of like-minded collectors who formed the Min Chiu Society in 1960. For half a century, members of the Min Chiu Society have been consistent in their ardour and their goal. Regular meetings were held in which acquisitions were viewed and insights were shared. Academic exchanges such as visits and talks were organised. The members are meticulous about authenticity so as to build collections of the highest quality. Through their social commitments, they have had a tremendous influence on collecting and curatorial standards in China and other parts of the world.

     The Min Chiu collections have won public recognition as well as international acclaim. Notable examples are the Yuan dynasty underglaze blue porcelains of the Tianminlou Collection, the ancient Chinese ceramics of the Jiurutang Collection, the monochrome ceramics of the Zhuyuetang Collection, the ancient jade ware of the Hei-Chi Collection, the Ming furniture of the Dr S Y Yip Collection, the glassware of Mr Andrew K F Lee, the snuff bottles of the Humphrey K F Hui Collection, the Chinese calligraphy and paintings as well as the Ming and Qing ceramics of the C P Lin Collection, the ancient calligraphy and paintings of Mr Harold C F Wong, the art of Zhu Qizhan in the Zhanyuantang Collection, and the gold ware, bamboo carvings and lacquer ware with mother-of-pearl inlay of the Muwen Tang Collection. While they are essentially based in Hong Kong, the holdings take pride of place in the international world of collecting.

     The first joint exhibition between the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Min Chiu was held in 1966, at the City Hall Museum and Art Gallery (the predecessor to the Hong Kong Museum of Art) which was located in Hong Kong City Hall in Central. It marked the beginning of a partnership in arts, culture and education that has lasted for more than four decades. Exhibitions under a variety of themes have been mounted, including "Paintings, Calligraphy and Porcelain of the Ming Period, Anthology of Chinese Ceramics", "An Anthology of Chinese Art: Min Chiu Society Silver Jubilee Exhibition", "The Splendour of the Qing Dynasty" and "Auspicious Emblems: Chinese Cultural Treasures – 45th Anniversary Exhibition of the Min Chiu Society". Ancillary activities, which included educational activities, guided tours, talks and workshops, were held during the exhibition periods to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Chinese art by the public at large, and the education of the student population in particular.

     Members of the Min Chiu are also well known for their generosity and public spirit: Not only do they readily lend their prized collections for public viewing, but they also donate their collections in lots to museums around the world to promote research and to enhance the study of Chinese art and antiquities. The Hong Kong Museum of Art is also one of the beneficiaries. Among the list of benefactors from the Min Chiu Society, Dr Lo Kwee-seong and Dr Tsui Tsin-tong are two important names for the remarkable size and scope of their donations.

     In celebration of the golden jubilee of the Min Chiu Society, the theme of the present exhibition is "The Grandeur of Chinese Art Treasures". On display are representative items in Chinese art and antiques. For calligraphy and painting works alone, the impressive selection spans the Tang (618 – 907), Yuan (1271 – 1368) and Ming (1368 – 1644) periods up to the present day. Famous artists include Ni Zan, Shen Zhou, Wen Zhengming, Dong Qichang, Shitao, Luo Ping and Wu Changshuo of various eras in China, and modern masters such as Zhu Qizhan, Zhang Daqian, Lin Fengmian, Wu Guanzhong and Shi Lu. As for ceramics, the treasures also span different eras, from the pottery of the Neolithic period (c.7000 - c.2100 BC), sancai ware of the Tang, outstanding porcelain ware from the famous kilns of the Song dynasty (960-1279), underglaze blue porcelain of the Yuan period, to a wide range of ceramic and porcelain ware from the Ming and the Qing, including wares in monochrome glazes, wares with underglaze decoration, and wares with overglaze polychrome enamels.

     To tie in with the exhibition, a series of lectures, video programmes and workshops will be organised during the exhibition period. Among them, two lectures entitled "Story of Chinese Fan" and "Classic Chinese Furniture" will be conducted on October 30 and November 27 respectively from 3pm to 5pm. The lectures, in Cantonese, are free and 150 seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition, a fully illustrated catalogue will be published and available at the Gift Shop of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

     The Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong Museum of Art's website www.hk.art.museum.

Ends/Friday, September 24, 2010
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1

The jade "cong"-tube with figure and animal mask design in this picture is carved in the form of a four-sided column with a cylindrical hollow inside. The decoration of this "cong" is divided into two sections, upper and lower, with a deity face above, and animal face below. Jade objects like this, dating back to the Neolithic Age, were unearthed in large numbers in burial grounds in Jiangsu and in the archaeological sites of the Liangzhu Culture (c.3300-2200BC) of Zhejiang Province. This item is from the Hei-Chi Collection.

2

This large dish with banana tree, floral design and moulded fruit in underglaze blue was made in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). The flower decoration and the cavetto design make this dish a rare find. The Chinese seldom used dishes of such large size. It is believed that it was created for users from Central Asia, Western Asia and the Islamic regions, where people like to place their food in a big dish for sharing over a meal. This is from the Tianminlou Collection.

3

This jade figure of Yanzhi in deer skin carved in the round refers to a story from "The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars". This item formerly belonged to Prince Gong, the sixth son of Emperor Daoguang of the Qing, who lived in the 19th century. When the Qing government was overthrown in 1911, the Gong household went into decline and sold the valuable art collection in the family estate. This jade piece was one of the antiques sold, and now belongs to the Benjamin W Yim Collection..

4

Created by Luo Ping (1733-1799) on the eerie theme of ghosts, the eight ink paintings in this scroll "Ghost amusement" were conceived individually. Luo was a member of the artist group called the "Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou" in the Qing dynasty. In 1771, he carried this painting to the capital where he made a sensational debut. Both merchants and scholars were impressed by his originality, and Luo gained instant fame. 

5


Created by Luo Ping (1733-1799) on the eerie theme of ghosts, the eight ink paintings in this scroll "Ghost amusement" were conceived individually. Luo was a member of the artist group called the "Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou" in the Qing dynasty. In 1771, he carried this painting to the capital where he made a sensational debut. Both merchants and scholars were impressed by his originality, and Luo gained instant fame.

 001.jpg

 The opening ceremony of the “The Grandeur of Chinese Art Treasures: Min Chiu Society Golden Jubilee Exhibition” was held today (September 24) at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Picture shows the officiating guests cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony. They are (from left) the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu, the Chairman of the Min Chiu Society, Dr Leo K K Wong, the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang Ying-yen, and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee.

02_1.jpg

Picture shows (front row from left) the Chief Curator of Hong Kong Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu, the Chairman of Min Chiu Society, Dr Leo K K Wong, the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang Ying-yen, and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, taking photo with members of the Min Chiu Society.

 

 

 

 
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