Starting tomorrow, members of the public who visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art can enjoy an extraordinary art tour. They will be invited to appreciate the true beauty of art by actually reaching out and touching great works, such as the ancient Greek Goddess "Venus de Milo" or "The Rebel Slave" by Michelangelo, and many other renowned Western sculptures.
The exhibition, entitled "Touching Art: Louvre's Sculptures in Movement" will be held at the Museum of Art from tomorrow (December 10) until February 20, 2011, and features 18 replicas of famous Louvre Museum sculpture and relief, which date from 200BC to the 19th century. Made of resin or plaster, they are all exact copies of the original marble or bronze works. Rather than just looking, visitors can enjoy a tactile encounter with the art pieces and actually feel the shape, composition and texture of these sculptures with their hands - and perhaps their hearts. It also offers the disabled community, especially the visually impaired, an opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of art.
Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Louvre Museum in collaboration with the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, the exhibition is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Louvre Museum and sponsored by Henderson Land Group.
The exhibition was officially opened today (December 9) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Head of Artistic Education, Louvre Museum, Mr Cyrille Gouyette; the Acting Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Mrs Agnès Humruzian; the General Manager of the Corporate Communications Department, Henderson Land Group, Ms Bonnie Ngan Suet-fong; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, and the Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Tsang noted that the Louvre Museum, one of the most renowned museums in the world, established the Tactile Gallery in 1995. It was designed to allow visitors to experience art through the sense of touch. Mr Tsang said the Louvre Museum had specially selected some of the sculptures from the Tactile Gallery for display in a special Asian touring exhibition, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art was honoured to be included in the tour.
The exhibits on display are divided into five sections: Effort, Run, Dance, Take Off and Fall. The bodily movements shown in these sculptures reflect the European pursuit of physical beauty and balance.
To echo the exhibition, six tactile works by local artists will be shown along with the artworks from the Louvre Museum. Under the theme of movement in nature, the six works display the artists' interests in the subject of "Art Without Boundaries".
Special facilities, such as Braille captions, guided routes and audio guides, will be provided to assist visually impaired visitors. During the exhibition period, special guided tours showing visitors how to appreciate the beauty of art through touching will be arranged.
Additionally, a series of lectures, video programmes and workshops will be organised. Among them, a lecture entitled "Touch vs Sight: Art Appreciation with Different Senses", to be conducted by the Head of Artistic Education, Louvre Museum, Mr Cyrille Gouyette, will be held on December 11 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. The lecture, in English, is free and 150 seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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. On Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year's Eve, the museum will close at 5pm. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year. 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 more information about the exhibition and related educational programmes, please check out the Museum of Art's website http://hk.art.museum. For enquiries, call 2721 0116.
Ends/Thursday, December 9, 2010
This is a sculpture of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love and beauty. Found on the island of Nelos, the sculpture is better known as the "Venus de Milo". She is portrayed half-naked; her arms are missing. Her head tilts slightly to the right, and her shoulder slants. This sculpture was certainly a Hellenistic creation, but it also revived the artistic style of classical tradition. The original sculpture was made in the 2nd century BC and was donated to the Louvre Collection by King Louis XVIII in 1821, becoming one of the three greatest treasures of the Louvre Museum today.
This sculpture, named "The Rebel Slave", vividly depicts a chained slave who is twisting his body, struggling to free himself. The artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti began work on the sculpture for the mausoleum of Pope Julius II between 1513 and 1515, but it remains unfinished. The figure seems to be striving to step out from the marble. The sculpture's incomplete state gives the impression of the slave struggling for power and freedom.
Named the Fighting Warrior and known as the "Borghese Gladiator", this sculpture was discovered in Rome in the early 17th century. It is believed that the sculpture is a copy of an ancient Greek work dating to the 2nd century BC by Agasias d'Ephèse. The warrior lunges forward. His left arm is extended and wears a shield strap. His right arm is outstretched behind, holding the pommel of a sword. Although the sword and shield are missing, his gesture indicates that he is in mid-struggle, beating off an enemy who is attacking from above. The warrior also has rich facial expression. The gaping mouth and wrinkles on the forehead reveal the distinct character of the warrior.
This sculpture, "Hippomenes", is by Couston and was originally commissioned by Louis XIV for his garden at the Château de Marly, and is coupled with the figure of Atalanta. The pair of sculptures illustrate a love story from Greek mythology. Atalanta challenges her suitor to a running race. If the suitor wins he can marry her, but if he fails he will be killed. During the race, Hippomenes throws three golden apples, which were given him by Venus, the Goddess of love and beauty. Chasing after the apples, Atalanta falls behind, so Hippomenes wins and marries Atalanta as his reward.
This low relief frieze, "The Borghese Dancers", depicts a happy gathering of the Three Graces and Horae, the Goddesses of Time. They are wearing long chitons and dancing hand in hand. The original work may have been executed in the second century, in an Athenian workshop that specially served Roman classical art collectors.
This sculpture is Mercury, Zeus' flying messenger. He is characterised by his winged cap (petasus), winged herald's staff (caduceus) and winged feet or sandals (talaria). This is a famous masterpiece created by the Flemish sculptor Giambologna (Jean Boulogne) in 1565, and is regarded as a representative work in the "mannerist" style, featuring elegant and dynamic composition. The lightweight sculpture was once installed at the centre of a fountain, where moving water would reinforce a floating effect.
This sculpture represents the dying Abel, son of the biblical Adam and Eve, who was killed by his jealous brother Cain. The original work was a reception piece by Jean-Baptiste Stouf in 1785 for the French Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In the simple naturalist manner, the artist tries to evoke a sense of pity by portraying the bruised body of a biblical victim.
Pictured shows officiating guests at the opening ceremony for the "Touching Art: Louvre's Sculptures in Movement". They are (from left) the Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu; the Acting Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Mrs Agnès Humruzian; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Head of Artistic Education, Louvre Museum, Mr Cyrille Gouyette; the General Manager of the Corporate Communications Department, Henderson Land Group, Ms Bonnie Ngan Suet-fong; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee.
Touring the exhibition are (from left) the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee; the Head of Artistic Education, Louvre Museum, Mr Cyrille Gouyette; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; and the General Manager of the Corporate Communications Department, Henderson Land Group, Ms Bonnie Ngan Suet-fong.