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Precious documents on display


Over 280 historical documents selected from the 70,000 items collected through the Documents Collection Campaign are now on display. “Treasures of Literature”, which opened today at the Exhibition Gallery, G/F Hong Kong Central Library, runs until October 8.

Officiating at the event were former professor of the Chinese Department of the University of Hong Kong Mr Lo Hong-lit, Director of the Capital Library Mr Ni Xiao-jian, Deputy Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (Culture) Miss Choi Suk-kuen and Chief Librarian of the Hong Kong Central Library Miss Alima Tuet.

Divided into six sections, the exhibition on Treasures of Literature presents an impressive array of priceless and valuable historical documents and literature, ranging from writers’ manuscripts, literary celebrities’ letters, paintings and works by great Chinese calligraphers, old legal contracts and agreements, to imprints of ancient calligraphy works and out-of-print publications, old maps and photos, matchboxes and newspaper clippings.

Some of the highlights include the –Gu Wen Yuan Jian -a collection of ancient Chinese prose between the Spring and Autumn Period (722-481 BC) and Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). It was first printed by order of Qing Emperor Kang Xi (AD 1662-1722) in 1685 and completed in 1705. The Emperor also wrote its foreword. The full collection comprises 64 juans (chapters) in 30 volumes, in which the five-colour printing method was used to denote and produce critiques, footnotes and remarks about the prose.

Consisting of 420 works by 103 calligraphers of various ancient Chinese dynasties, Chunhua Ge Tie is a collection from the Northern Song Dynasty. The edition on display is a copy from the Shunzhi reign (AD 1646) of the Qing Dynasty.

Other highlights include 50 ink-imprints of stone inscriptions from the Han Dynasty (206-220 BC) to the present time. The selections are mainly from Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 BC), including the world-famous inscriptions of the Tomb of Cuan Longyan and the 20 Longmen calligraphy pieces from the Southern and Northern Dynasties (386-587 BC). Rubbing and ink-imprint has an important place in Chinese calligraphy before the invention of printing.

For enquiries, call 2921 0323.

End/Thursday, September 18, 2003

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