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Museum of Art exhibits Xubaizhai calligraphy collection


About 50 calligraphic works from the valuable Xubaizhai collection are now on display at the Xubaizhai Gallery of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Entitled "Selection from the Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Calligraphy", the exhibition features Buddhist sutras from ancient China, personal letters and poems, and inscribed fans and couplets.

The Xubaizhai collection was donated to the museum by Mr Low Chuck Tiew (1911 - 1993), a renowned art connoisseur in Hong Kong.

Most of the works on display were created by representative masters of classical Chinese calligraphy during the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties -- Shen Zhou, Dong Qichang, Wang Duo, Wu Changshuo, Zheng Fu and Li Shutong. Some exhibits date back to the Six Dynasties (222 - 589).

To coincide with the exhibition, the Museum of Art has published a catalogue entitled "Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Calligraphy". It features 177 calligraphic works that provide readers with a wealth of information about this art.

The development of Chinese calligraphy is closely related to the unique properties of Chinese characters, whose origin can be traced back to symbols of the prehistoric period. Morphologically, its development follows a gradual transformation from pictographs to abstraction, and the coexistence of various scriptstyles provides a rich vocabulary for the art of calligraphy. The evolution proceeds from oracle bone script (jiaguwen), the earliest mature script-style, to styles including seal script (zhuanshu), clerical script (lishu), regular script (kaishu), running script (xingshu) and cursive script (caoshu). The different scriptstyles contributed to the diversity of artistic expression as calligraphers sought to embody their thoughts and feelings.

The blending of Chinese characters with poetry, painting and other aesthetics also contributed to the development of calligraphic art.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm daily and is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). The admission fee is $10, with a half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

During August, visitors will enjoy a buy-one-get-one-free scheme when they visit the Museum of Art. Anyone who buys an admission ticket will receive a complimentary admission coupon valid until September 30, 2003 at the Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, and Hong Kong Space Museum. (The coupon is not valid for the Space Theatre of the Hong Kong Space Museum or special exhibitions with separate admission charges).

For more information on the exhibition, please visit the Museum of Art's website at

For enquiries, please call 2721 0116.

End/Tuesday, August 12, 2003

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