"A Journey into Chinese Painting: A Selection of Works from the Xubaizhai Collection", the new exhibition of the Hong Kong Museum of Art under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be opened to the public tomorrow (August 30). Selected from the Xubaizhai Collection, the works on display will show the different painting schools of the Ming and Qing dynasties and reflect a Chinese art world that was closely associated with the economic development of the cities during that period.
City development in China boomed during the Ming and Qing periods. As a result, a population from diverse origins formed a new class of urban residents. In the economically developed cities of the Jiangnan area, residents were mainly scholars, craftsmen and merchants with a higher level of literacy. Cultural life in cities thrived with the growing needs of these people, rendering a flourishing of fiction, opera, storytelling and singing. The visual arts also experienced rapid development with the emergence of different schools of painting and the growth of printmaking.
Chinese society underwent tremendous changes from the mid-Ming period onwards. New economic patterns drew a large number of men of letters to the cities, where they participated in various cultural occupations to make ends meet. Taking the artistic activities in Suzhou, Songjiang (present-day Shanghai), Huizhou, Jinling (present-day Nanjing) and Yangzhou during the Ming and Qing dynasties in consideration, it can be found that the development of the art industry in China was in line with that of its economy.
The museum drew from the Xubaizhai Collection prominent paintings by numerous masters like Dong Qichang, Zhao Zuo, Xiao Yuncong and Zheng Xie for the exhibition to introduce and analyse the social background and artistic phenomena during their time, so as to offer a new perspective on Chinese art history and to provide visitors with a clearer view of the lives of Chinese artists during that period.
To enhance the interest of the younger generation in the exhibition, the museum has collaborated with students and teaching staff from the Higher Diploma in Printing and Publishing and Higher Diploma in Digital Music Media programmes of the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) to introduce works of the Xubaizhai Collection through creating an innovative electronic book entitled "A Journey into Chinese Painting" and an animated short film, "Pianxian". The Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Miss Eve Tam, noted that following the Feng Zikai exhibition, this is the second time the museum has worked with the HKDI to create an electronic book and an animated short film to help initiate dialogue between generations in society.
Miss Tam said 25 representative works by masters of different schools during the Ming and Qing periods featured in the electronic book are navigated via animated scenes from "Fifteen Views of the Garden" by Ming dynasty painter Wen Boren. By reading the electronic book, readers will experience a tour of a traditional Chinese garden and explore hidden masterpieces, and learn more about the artistic world of the Jiangnan area during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
The romantic animated short film "Pianxian" features the adventure of a young dancing girl who travels back through the ages to the years of turmoil in the late Ming period. Works selected from the Xubaizhai Collection are featured in the animation, allowing viewers to see the ancient world in a new way.
Miss Tam said that Mr Low Chuck-tiew donated his valuable Xubaizhai Collection to the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 1989, hoping this could allow the general public to appreciate the precious Chinese writings and paintings and know more about Chinese aesthetics. To implement this idea, the museum has always been making efforts to organise exhibitions and issue publications featuring the donated works and to promote writings and paintings in Chinese art.
"Riding on the growth of Internet technology and animation, the museum has started exploring these new channels. We have therefore worked together with the HKDI to create the electronic book and animated short film for the exhibition, aiming to bring surprise to visitors and to enhance youngsters' interest in traditional Chinese art and culture through the provision of new perspectives, narratives and interpretations," Miss Tam said.
The exhibition "A Journey into Chinese Painting: A Selection of Works from the Xubaizhai Collection" will run until late August 2014. For further information, call 2721 0116 or visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum.
The Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The museum 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.
Ends/Thursday, August 29, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:13
To strengthen the promotion of the exhibition "A Journey into Chinese Painting: A Selection of Works from the Xubaizhai Collection", the Hong Kong Museum of Art has collaborated with the Hong Kong Design Institute in producing an electronic book entitled "A Journey into Chinese Painting", which is available for viewing in the exhibition gallery.
The animated short film "Pianxian", which complements the exhibition "Journey into Chinese Painting: A Selection of Works from the Xubaizhai Collection", vividly illustrates the works on display in an innovative way and allows viewers to explore the ancient Chinese art world.
Picture shows part of the painting "Fifteen Views of the Garden" by Wen Boren (1502-1575). In the electronic book entitled "A Journey into Chinese Painting", 25 representative works by masters of different schools during the Ming and Qing periods can be navigated via this painting, allowing visitors to learn more about the artistic world of the Jiangnan area during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Picture shows part of the painting "Flowers, Fruits, Vegetables and Insects" by Yu Zhiding (1647-after 1713). The colourful flowers and fruits from the painting are used in illustrating the romantic love of a girl in the animated short film "Pianxian".