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June
The Pride of China exhibition draws large crowds
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The talk-of-the-town exhibition, "The Pride of China: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties from the Palace Museum", was opened to the public at the Hong Kong Museum of Art at 9 o'clock this morning (June 29). By 6pm it had attracted 3,850 visitors (including tickets holders and Museum Pass holders).

Because of the popularity of the exhibition, the museum arranged, for the first time, advance sale of tickets. Up to yesterday (June 28), more than 8,800 tickets were sold.

A spokesman for the Museum of Art said the most popular exhibit of the exhibiton was the "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" by Zhang Zeduan of the Northern Song dynasty. Anticipating large crowds would view the jewel of the exhibition, a special gallery has been set up to display the priceless treasure and admissions to this gallery regulated by hourly sessions has been introduced to facilitate more people to view the painting.

The spokesman said that to give every visitor a chance to view this extraordinary work and to minimise queuing time as much as practicable, measures, such as time limit of viewing the work, may be introduced, if and when necessary.

"To enhance visitors' understanding of the 'Along the River During the Qingming Festival', the special gallery provides well illustrated panel text giving visitors a comprehensive background information about the work. Meanwhile, major parts of the painting are reproduced in large format to enable visitors to better appreciate the details of the 1,000-year-old painting," the spokesman said.

"Apart from the star of the exhibition, 'Along the River During the Qingming Festival', other master pieces, including Wang Shen's "Light Snow over a Fishing Village" of the Northern Song dynasty, Zhao Ji (Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty)'s "Auspicious Dragon Rock" of the Northern Song dynasty, Feng Chengsu's "Copy after Preface to the Orchid Pavilion Gathering" of the Tang dynasty, Qian Xuan's "Secluded Dwelling" of the Yuan dynasty, Yan Zhenqing's "Letter on the Flood in Huzhou" of the Tang dynasty, Xianyu Shu's "Poem by Du Fu on Visiting Zhaoling Mausoleum" of the Yuan dynasty and Ni Zan's "Ink Bamboo" of the Yuan dynasty, are also rare art treasures," the spokesman said.

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Palace Museum and is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Palace Museum. It is co-sponsored by HSBC and the Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, with Dragonair as the official carrier. It is one of the signature events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of HKSAR.

Featuring 32 world-acclaimed masterpieces of Chinese painting and calligraphy specially selected from the Palace Museum, the exhibition is divided into two phases. The first phase featuring the above 16 exhibits will run from today until July 22.

The second phase of the exhibition will run from July 23 to August 11. Highlights include Qiu Ying's "Copy after Along the River During the Qingming Festival" of the Ming dynasty, Wang Xun's "Letter to Boyuan" of the Jin dynasty, Yan Liben's "Emperor Taizong Receiving the Tibetan Envoy" of the Tang dynasty, Dong Yuan's "The Xiao and Xiang Rivers" of the Five Dynasties, Su Shi's "Letter on the Consignation of Author's Graveyard" of the Northern Song dynasty, Mi Fu's "Poem of the Tiao River" of the Northern Song dynasty, Liu Songnian's "Landscapes of the Four Seasons" of the Southern Song dynasty, and Li Song's "Puppet Play of a Skeleton" of the Southern Song dynasty.

To tie in with the exhibition, an international academic lecture series will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from today to August 5. Speakers include more than 20 scholars from overseas, Mainland China and Hong Kong. The lectures will be conducted in English, Putonghua or Cantonese. Admission is free and 150 tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis one hour before each lecture is started. A fully illustrated catalogue and a booklet will be published for sale at the Gift Shop of the Museum of Art.

To facilitate more people to view the exhibition, the opening hours have been extended to 9pm daily. During the normal closure of the museum on Thursdays, visits will be arranged for pre-booking school groups and non-profit making organisations. Tickets are now available for sale at URBTIX outlets and booking services on Internet are also available.

The exhibition will open from 9am to 9pm daily and be closed on Thursdays. Due to the 10th anniversary Celebration Fireworks Display, it will close at 6pm on Sunday (July 1). Admission to this exhibition will be $30. A half-price concession is available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and people with disabilities. "Free Admission on Wednesdays" and the department Weekly Pass are not applicable to this exhibition.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For details of the exhibition, visit the Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum . For enquiries, call 2721 0116.

Ends/Friday, June 29, 2007
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