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Publication and Press Releases
2012
June
Museum of Art exhibition reveals treasures of Emperor Qianlong's secret garden
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     A new exhibition entitled "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong", one of the highlight cultural events celebrating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), will be held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art from tomorrow (June 22) until October 14.

     The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and Beijing's Palace Museum, and is organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Palace Museum with the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust as sole sponsor. Featuring 93 relics selected from the Palace Museum, the exhibition includes 19 items shown outside the Mainland for the first time and 43 artefacts connected with Qianlong Garden.

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, officiated at today (June 21)'s exhibition opening ceremony at the Museum of Art. Other officiating guests were the Director of the Palace Museum, Dr Shan Jixiang; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Director-General, General Office, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR, Mr Ma Zhangling; the Deputy Director General of the Publicity, Culture and Sports Department, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Mr Liu Hanqi; the Steward of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Anthony Chow; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Tsang Tak-sing said that to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, the Palace Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art had worked together again in staging the Emperor Qianlong exhibition, enabling the people of Hong Kong to enjoy the rare treasures of the Palace Museum.

     Qianlong Garden, also known as Ningshougong Garden, is located in the northeastern corner of the Forbidden City. The garden was designed by Emperor Qianlong, who also monitored the building work. The garden's layout, including its interior and ornamental decoration, gives visitors an insight into the Emperor's aspirations for good fortune and his lifelong dreams. The garden not only signifies the highest aesthetics of Chinese royal gardens during Qing dynasty, but also reflects the artistic style of the traditional Chinese palace.

     "Many of the artefacts on display are making their first appearance outside the Mainland, reflecting fully the support of the Museum for Hong Kong," Mr Tsang said.

     Mr Tsang added that the exhibition signified a milestone in collaboration between the Palace Museum and the LCSD's museums. He said the two museums had signed a letter of intent on co-operation today, strengthening efforts by the two parties in co-organising exhibitions as well as the exchange of expertise and skills, so as to preserve and promote Chinese cultural heritage in the coming five years.

     Mr Tsang also took the opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for their sole sponsorship, which helped to enhance educational and other extension activities related to the exhibition. He also thanked the Design & Cultural Studies Workshop led by Mr Chiu Kwong-chiu for injecting innovative digital technology into the exhibition, bringing visitors a brand new interactive exhibition experience.

     Divided into four sections, namely Leisurely Pursuits, Blessed Longevity, Enhancing Life for All, and A Life of Art and Artistry, the exhibition includes items of painting and calligraphy, furniture, mural paintings, architectural elements and religious art. The exhibition aims to illustrate the cultural significance of the traditional Chinese royal garden, as well as the Emperor's philosophical thoughts and religious beliefs, and his pursuit of longevity and eternal bliss as reflected in the intriguing design of the garden and its artefacts.

     In order to enhance visitors' knowledge of Qianlong Garden, the exhibition gallery has been designed to reconstruct the garden's sense of intimacy and allure. Multimedia installations such as animation and computer programming are incorporated to offer the audience a new exhibition experience. The Hong Kong Museum of Art has also created a huge and eye-catching outdoor QR code to enable visitors to obtain relevant background information about the exhibition.

     In addition, the Hong Kong Museum of Art will organise a series of education programmes during the exhibition period. These include lectures, videos about Qianlong Garden, stories about Emperor Qianlong, and family activities. A lecture entitled "The Palace Museum: Striving and Exploring as a Modern Museum", to be conducted by the Director of the Palace Museum, Dr Shan Jixiang, will be held at 10.30am on June 22 at the lecture hall of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Admission to the lecture is free. It will be conducted in Putonghua and will offer 130 seats on a first-come, first-served basis.

     The Hong Kong Museum of Art will open specially for schools and registered non-profit-making organisations to visit the exhibition on Thursdays, and will also provide a free coach service, which is sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Interested parties may apply in writing at least three weeks prior to the date of visit, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Schools and registered non-profit-making organisations that are planning group visits with a minimum of 20 persons can also apply in writing for free admission. Application forms can be downloaded from the Hong Kong Museum of Art's website.

     For details of the exhibition, please visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art's website at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Arts/en/exhibitions/exhibitions01_apr12_04.html. For enquiries, please call 2721 0116.

     The Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. It is normally closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission to the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition costs $20 on Monday, Tuesday, Friday to Sunday, and $10 on Wednesday. A half-price concession is available for full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Free admission is available for Museum Pass holders, Weekly Pass holders and children under 4 years old.

Ends/Thursday, June 21, 2012
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01

The signing ceremony for the letter of intent on co-operation between the Palace Museum and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held today (June 21) at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The photo shows the Director of the Palace Museum, Dr Shan Jixiang (left), and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung, signing on behalf of both parties. The agreement signifies a strengthening efforts by the two parties in co-organising exhibitions, the exchange of expertise and skills, and in preserving and promoting Chinese cultural heritage in the coming five years.

02

The opening ceremony of the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition was held today (June 21) at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The photo shows the officiating guests at the ceremony: (from left) the Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Anthony Chow; the Deputy Director General of the Publicity, Culture and Sports Department, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr Liu Hanqi; the Director of the Palace Museum, Dr Shan Jixiang; the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Director-General, General Office, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the HKSAR, Mr Ma Zhangling; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung.

3

Mr Tsang and other guests at the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition. 

004
 
Mr Tsang and other guests at the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition.

05

Mr Tsang and other guests at the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition.

06

The picture shows detail of "Wooden Screen with Inlaid Jade Plaques Portraying the Sixteen Luohans", which was made in the 42nd year of the Qianlong period (1777). This artefact will be on display as part of the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition. (Collection of the Palace Museum)

07

The picture shows detail of "Wooden Screen with Inlaid Jade Plaques Portraying the Sixteen Luohans", which was made in the 42nd year of the Qianlong period (1777). This artefact will be on display as part of the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition. (Collection of the Palace Museum)

08

The picture shows the "Portrait of Emperor Qianlong Hunting a Bear", made in the 7th year of the Qianlong period (1742). This artefact will be on display as part of the "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong" exhibition. (Collection of the Palace Museum)

 

 

 

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