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Phase II of "The Pride of China" opens on Monday

Phase I of “The Pride of China: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties from the Palace Museum” at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, which had attracted over 83,000 visitors as of today (Thursday) since its opening on June 29, will come to an end at 9 pm on Sunday (July 22). Meanwhile, some 38,000 advance tickets available at 36 URBTIX outlets and booking service on internet were all sold out on July 10.

During the last leg of Phase I of the exhibition, 500 daily door tickets will be available at the Box Office of the Museum of Art, which opens at 9 am, on a first-come-first-served basis for tomorrow (July 20), Saturday (July 21) and Sunday (July 22). A 500 quota for Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) yearly/half-year Museum Pass holders will also be available each day. Experiences show that daily door tickets were taken up within a few hours. As a measure to avoid disappointment, announcement of the sold out of daily door tickets will be made through radio broadcast and on the LCSD website.

The Chief Curator of Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu, said,“The works on display are valuable national treasures. Some of them have been passed along for over 1,000 years. Drawn on paper or fabric, the colours of these works are easily oxidised and fade out when overly exposed. When deciding on the exhibition period and opening hours, cultural preservation became the prime concern of both the Palace Museum and the Museum of Art. Taking a balanced approach of meeting the public demands of appreciating the national treasures and the need of cultural preservation, the exhibition period and opening hours cannot be further extended.

“We feel sorry for those who have missed the exhibition, but hope that they would be understanding and support cultural preservation.

"However, members of the public may be pleased to know that the phase II of the exhibition, which will run from Monday (July 23) to August 11, also features another 16 masterpieces of Chinese painting and calligraphy. The second batch of exhibits have already arrived in Hong Kong,” Mr Tang said.

He pointed out, “As compared with the first batch of exhibits, they are also regarded as gems of Chinese art finely selected from the collection of Palace Museum, Beijing. Most of the works on display in phase II exhibition date back to 1,000 years.

“Star exhibits of phase II include the worldly acclaimed, over 1,000 years’ old “Letter to Boyuan in Running Script” by Wang Xun of Eastern Jin dynasty. Another time-tested painting with unquestionable artistic and academic merits is the “Emperor Taizong Receiving the Tibetan Envoy” by Yan Liben of Tang dynasty.

“Other highlights are 'Copy after Along the River During the Qingming Festival' by Qiu Ying of Ming dynasty, and works of calligraphy by masters Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Mi Fu and Cai Xiang of Northern Song dynasty,” Mr Tang said.

Mr Tang urged interested people to get admission tickets in advance. He said, “We anticipate that the second phase of the exhibition will also be well received. In order not to miss this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, visitors are strongly advised to purchase tickets in advance.

“Advance tickets at all URBTIX outlets and booking services on Internet are now available. Meanwhile, about 500 door tickets will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Box Office of the Museum of Art and 500 quotas will be reserved for the department’s yearly/half-year museum pass holders daily during the exhibition period. During the normal closure of the museum on Thursdays, visits will be arranged for pre-booking school groups and voluntary organisations,” Mr Tang added.

Special measures tailored made for this exhibition will be carried on in Phase II, including advance sale of tickets, setting up a special gallery to feature the five-metre long scroll “Copy after Along the River During Qingming Festival” and regulating the admission by hourly sessions. Whenever needs arise, the museum will exercise measures of crowd control by setting time limit to view the long scroll.

The exhibition is jointly presented by LCSD 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.

It opens from 9am to 10pm daily and is closed on Thursdays for bookings from schools and voluntary organisations. Admission to this exhibition is $30 with half-price concession available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and people with disabilities. “Free Admission on Wednesdays” and the department’s 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 . For enquiries, call 2721 0116.

Ends/Thursday, July 19, 2007
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