The qin, also known as the guqin, is traditionally regarded as the first-ranked art of the "Four Arts of the Scholar", which also comprise qi (chess), shu (calligraphy) and hua (painting), and occupies a distinctive position in Chinese culture. To mark the 10th anniversary of the art of guqin music being inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Choi Chang Sau Qin Making Society have jointly organised an exhibition, "The Legend of Silk and Wood: A Hong Kong Qin Story", to showcase the furthering of this ancient art in Hong Kong. The exhibition will run from tomorrow (December 12) until March 10 next year at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held today (December 11) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Officiating at the ceremony were the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui; the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng; the President of the Choi Chang Sau Qin Making Society, Mr Choi Chang-sau; the Chairman of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, Professor Yu Siu-wah; the Vice President of the Choi Chang Sau Qin Making Society, Mr Kelwin Kwan; and the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong.
With a history dating back more than 3,000 years, the guqin is one of the oldest plucked musical instruments in China. Techniques and performances by qin musicians are among the focuses in appreciating the art of guqin music. At the same time, qin making is also a traditional art that involves various skills including woodwork, lacquering, calligraphy and the actual making of music. The instruments are delicate works of art in their own right.
Hong Kong is home to a number of qin lovers who have dedicated themselves to passing on the playing and making of the qin. Following in the footsteps of qin players of the past, they have built their own instruments and regard the crafting process as an art. Mr Choi Chang-sau, a qin musician and the founder of the Choi Chang Sau Qin Making Society, has spent his whole life promoting the art of the guqin. Now 80 years old, the passionate qin musician still insists on sharing the art of qin making with local qin players by passing down the skills he learnt from his teacher through oral teaching and weekly hands-on demonstrations, with the aims of nurturing qin makers and promoting the art of qin making.
Highlighting the skills involved in the making of a qin and the art of playing the instrument, the exhibition "The Legend of Silk and Wood: A Hong Kong Qin Story" will take the visitors into the world of guqin music and qin craftsmanship. By displaying the structure of the guqin, the playing technique and the sharing of the skills of qin making, the exhibition will enable visitors to learn all about this traditional art, including finding information on artists, instruments, strings, music and musical notation. Through the reconstructed qin crafting studio in the gallery, visitors will also gain insight into the work of qin luthiers, who use both hands and heart in their creation process, and will learn about the steps and skills involved in this craft that brings together silk and wood.
For more details about the exhibition, please visit the webpage on the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's website at www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?exid=212 , or call 2180 8188.
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. The museum will close at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Lunar New Year's Eve. The museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Lunar New Year. Admission is $10 and half-price concessions are applicable to full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. The group admission fee is $7, applicable to every purchase of 20 tickets or more. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
Ends/Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:53
The opening ceremony of the exhibition "The Legend of Silk and Wood: A Hong Kong Qin Story" was held today (December 11) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Picture shows the officiating guests at the opening ceremony (from left): the Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong; the Chairman of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, Professor Yu Siu-wah; the President of the Choi Chang Sau Qin Making Society, Mr Choi Chang-sau; the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui; the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng; and the Vice President of the Choi Chang Sau Qin Making Society, Mr Kelwin Kwan.
Picture shows the "Wuzhizhai Qinpu" (Wuzhizhai Qin Handbook) published during the 61st year of the Kangxi reign of the Qing dynasty (1722). It contains information on various qin styles, playing techniques and music theory in addition to pieces of music, which makes it an integrated reference for qin studies.
Picture shows the qin named Songfenghan made by Mr Choi and his wife Ms Cheung Shun-yi in the mid-1980s.
Picture shows Mr Choi making a guqin in his studio.