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Publication and Press Releases
2013
August
Heritage Museum to showcase traditional woodblock prints and blocks from its collections
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     China was the first country to invent printing techniques and woodblock printing, which were used to present different themes and stories. The resulting prints, in which many of the themes relate to family, express the desire of the Chinese people for a stable and comfortable family life, and reflect the importance in traditional Chinese society of offering best wishes for the family.

     Showcasing more than 100 traditional woodblock prints and blocks selected from the collections of the museum, the new exhibition entitled "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" will be held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum from today (August 21) until January 13 next year, highlighting the traditional values of the Chinese and revealing how people have called for blessings for their family through works of art.

     The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held today. The officiating guests were the Acting Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Culture), Dr Louis Ng; the Chairman of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Lai Chi-tim; the Museum Expert Adviser, Mr Yeung Chun-tong; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Ng said that the art of traditional Chinese woodblock printing has a long history. This folk art reached its peak during the mid-Qing dynasty with the emergence of a large number of workshops, which helped expand the diversity of the subject matter dealt with in prints. It wasn't until the late Qing period and early Republican period that woodblock printing started to decline gradually as a result of war and the introduction of Western typography. In 2006, the New Year woodblock print was included in the first batch on the national list of intangible cultural heritage, demonstrating its cultural significance in China.

     The traditional values of common people in China down the ages have revolved around domestic concerns - especially the desire for a stable and comfortable family life. Woodblock prints, with their themes often relating to everyday domestic life, convey the message of protecting the home and are often found on doors and windows and in living rooms, where they invoke blessings for a safe home. Auspicious prints celebrating joyful occasions have been used to convey messages of wishes for longevity and a big family, and hopes for a good harvest are also commonly reflected in woodblock prints.

     The exhibition also features prints that reflect folk beliefs, such as New Year prints of a "door god" and a "stove god", and other prints with Buddhist and Taoist deities or other gods for protecting the home. Visitors to the exhibition will be given an opportunity to appreciate traditional woodblock prints that not only serve a decorative function, but also express traditional Chinese family values. 

     To meet the different needs of visitors, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum has collaborated with the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong to provide an arts accessibility service for the first time at this exhibition. Touchable duplicates of woodblock prints and tactile diagrams offer the visually impaired and the elderly, as well as other visitors, a different and creative way to appreciate art, allowing them to learn about traditional woodblock printing with their hands, while the text accompanying the exhibition is also provided in Braille. In addition, audio descriptions provided by specially trained docents will highlight the visual elements of the exhibits in concise words and thus help the sight-impaired to visualise and better understand the items on display. Visitors who would like to join the special guided tours should call the Jockey Club Arts Accessibility Service Centre of the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong at 2777 1771 for arrangements.
   
     The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (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 details of the exhibition, please visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's website at www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?exid=207 or call 2180 8188.


Ends/Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:14

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The opening ceremony of the "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" exhibition was held today (August 21) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Photo shows the officiating guests at the ceremony, including (from left) the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong; the Chairman of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Lai Chi-tim; the Acting Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Culture), Dr Louis Ng; and the Museum Expert Adviser, Mr Yeung Chun-tong.

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The picture shows "Boy with a Swimming Fish", expressing the wish for ample food and wealth every year. This print is now on display at the "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" exhibition.

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Pictures 2 and 3 show a pair of prints of "Door Gods Riding White Horses". They portray a swarthy-faced Wei Chi Gong and a red-faced Qin Qiong, each wearing fish-scale armour and followed by a soldier holding a flag. They look like they are in high spirits, while auspicious accessories, such as double coins and a "fang sheng", a lucky lozenge-shaped object, are placed beside the hooves of their horses to add an expression of good wishes to the prints. These prints are now on display at the "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" exhibition.

B61EA69C6DCC42C7A00C2F7E20BEF8AF_B.JPG

Pictures 2 and 3 show a pair of prints of "Door Gods Riding White Horses". They portray a swarthy-faced Wei Chi Gong and a red-faced Qin Qiong, each wearing fish-scale armour and followed by a soldier holding a flag. They look like they are in high spirits, while auspicious accessories, such as double coins and a "fang sheng", a lucky lozenge-shaped object, are placed beside the hooves of their horses to add an expression of good wishes to the prints. These prints are now on display at the "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" exhibition.

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The picture shows "The Spring Cow", a Chinese New Year print that provided an important reference for farmers in ancient times. This print is now on display at the "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" exhibition.

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The picture shows "Guanyin Sending Babies", expressing the wish to have a baby and gain fortune and wealth. This print is now on display at the "Best Wishes for the Family: Traditional Chinese Woodblock Prints from the Collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum" exhibition.

 

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