A selection of exhibits from the Dunhuang Caves will be open to the public at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, starting August 24. The exhibition, titled The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Dunhuang: Enchanting Tales for Millennium, will feature 50 exhibits, more than 100 murals from over 60 Dunhuang Caves, and a replica of a Yulin Cave.

The Dunhuang Caves are known for murals and sculptures that provide a glimpse into spiritual and everyday life in ancient China. The 1:1 replica of Yulin Cave 25 features an array of styles, from that of the high Tang to Tibetan culture. The Yulin Caves come second to the Mogao Caves in terms of scale among the Dunhuang Caves.

The Samantabhadra Sutra tableau on the West wall of Yulin Cave 25 (© Hong Kong Heritage Museum)

Other highlights of the exhibition include illustrations of the Sutra of the Medicine Buddha of Mogao Cave 148, a painted gilt-bronze head of Mahavairocana and the reproduction of silk painting Eleven-faced Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha with the Ten Kings of Hell.

There are also several art-tech elements, including an immersive digital programme featuring the illustration of the Sutra of the Profundity of Filial Love, a silk painting dated from the Northern Song dynasty and discovered in Mogao Cave 17. The immersive digital display Somewhere Out There allows visitors to take a closer look at a selection of landscape scenes extracted from classic murals.

The painted gilt-bronze head of Mahavairocana (© Hong Kong Heritage Museum)

This is the third exhibition in the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Dunhuang series held in collaboration with the Dunhuang Academy. The first was the Dunhuang: Untold Tales, Untold Riches exhibition in 2014, which was followed by the Digital Dunhuang — Tales of Heaven and Earth exhibition in 2018. The current exhibition ends on November 21, 2022.

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Header image credits: Hong Kong Heritage Museum

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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