An exhibition featuring precious national cultural relics from the Qin dynasty will be held at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)'s Hong Kong Museum of History from July 25 to November 26, the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young, announced at a press conference today (June 13). The exhibition will be the largest of its kind ever held in Hong Kong.
Members of the public will have the rare opportunity to take a closer look at national-treasure-grade terracotta warriors and other invaluable relics from the Qin dynasty in this not-to-be-missed exhibition.
Entitled "The Majesty of All Under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor", the exhibition is jointly presented by the LCSD and the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust is the sole sponsor of the exhibition.
In addition to noting that the exhibition is one of the highlight programmes to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Young said the Qin terracotta figures were chosen as the theme of the exhibition because they were among the most significant archaeological discoveries in China and the world in the 20th century. The terracotta army has its unique charm and has fascinated viewers with its magnificent scene.
With tremendous support from the State Council, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum and various Shaanxi heritage and museum institutes, the Hong Kong Museum of History is able to showcase over 100 sets of invaluable cultural relics at the exhibition, including 20 terracotta figures of different kinds.
Noting that the terracotta figures are national treasures, Mr Young said their display outside the Mainland is subject to tight restrictions. "The number of terracotta figures to be shown at this exhibition has not only outnumbered the previous displays of Qin terracotta figures in Hong Kong, but also exceeded the ceiling of 10 imposed on overseas loan exhibitions in recent years," he said.
The exhibition will showcase 120 items and sets of cultural relics, of which nearly 40 per cent are Grade I relics, thereby placing the exhibition at the highest level in recent years in terms of scale and the rarity of its artefacts.
A wide and comprehensive range of terracotta warriors and horses will be on display at the exhibition, including a terracotta general, a terracotta standing archer, a terracotta kneeling archer, a terracotta infantryman, a terracotta officer, a terracotta cavalryman, a terracotta acrobat, a terracotta cavalry horse, a terracotta chariot horse and more. It should be noted that pigments can still be seen on five of the terracotta warriors and five other invaluable relics (a pottery qi tripod, a cocoon-shaped vessel, a vessel with two ring handles, a bronze crane and a mural fragment), which have seldom been seen in previous exhibitions.
Mr Young said the exhibition will be different from the previous exhibitions on the Qin and Han dynasties organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History. "This exhibition will focus on the Qin dynasty only. The relics on display will be introduced from a new perspective and presented in innovative ways," he said.
One of the special features of the exhibition is that the Hong Kong Museum of History will transform its lobby into a multimedia experience zone. Apart from expanding the exhibition area, the museum will break the boundary between history and technology by using various advanced multimedia and audio-visual presentation technologies such as projection, digital animation, computer techniques and augmented reality technology to give visitors a brand new interactive experience. Using the latest technology, visitors will be taken back in time to the Qin dynasty to witness how the pit of the terracotta army was built, buried, discovered and conserved. The exhibition will also be the largest thematic exhibition ever held by the Hong Kong Museum of History.
The museum and the Art Promotion Office are working together with the Hong Kong Design Centre to organise a series of design competitions and art workshops on terracotta warriors to engage young people in design activities and artistic creation. These activities have become the highlight programmes of the Hong Kong Design Year 2012.
Over 20 programmes will also be organised during the exhibition period to enhance the educational value of the exhibition. These include lectures, a symposium, guided tours and workshops for the public. In addition, outreach workshops, special guided tours for people with hearing and visual impairment and disabilities, and book displays at libraries will also be organised to meet the diverse needs of visitors.
Mr Young took the opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for its generous donation for producing multimedia programmes, public art and educational activities for the exhibition.
Also present at today's press conference were the Director of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, Mr Zhang Tong; the Executive Director, Charities, of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Douglas So; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung; the Dean of the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum, Professor Cao Wei; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu.
In view of the expected popularity of this exhibition, the museum will extend its opening hours during the exhibition period. The exhibition will open from 9am to 10.30pm daily and admission will be arranged in sessions. Except for public holidays, the museum will be closed on Tuesdays for cleaning and maintenance.
Admission to the exhibition is $10 per session for all visitors. As this is a special exhibition, free admission on Wednesdays is not applicable. Session tickets will be available for advance sale starting from early July. Details of the ticketing arrangements will be announced in due course. Waiver of admission charge and guided tours will be offered to schools and non-profit-making organisations with 20 or more people upon application.
The museum will launch a thematic website (www.firstemperor.lcsd.gov.hk ) and use various communication channels such as Facebook, Twitter, smartphone apps, QR codes and more to enable visitors to obtain exhibition information easily.
The Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Its website is at www.hk.history.museum . For enquiries, please call 2724 9042.
Ends/Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The exhibition "The Majesty of All Under Heaven: The Eternal Realm of China's First Emperor" will run from July 25 to November 26 at the Hong Kong Museum of History. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department held a press conference today (June 13) to announce the details of the exhibition. Pictured attending the press conference are (from left) the Executive Director, Charities, of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Douglas So; the Director of the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, Mr Zhang Tong; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young; the Dean of the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum, Professor Cao Wei; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of History, Ms Susanna Siu