The Hong Kong Palace Museum will showcase 44 artefacts from the Palace Museum, including five grade-one national treasures, which will be on display in in Gallery 1-5 from April 2023. Most of these pieces are being exhibited in Hong Kong for the first time.
The 44 newly arrived objects include paintings and calligraphic works, textiles, and archival records. Among them, 25 pieces are on view in the exhibition “From Dawn to Dusk: Life in the Forbidden City” in Gallery 2, which offers a glance at the key moments of the busy and well-regulated life inside the Forbidden City during the 18th century.
Some of the most notable exhibits are five exquisite paintings from the 16-pages Album of the Victorious Jinchuan Campaigns by court painter Xu Yang (active about 1750–1777). On the 14th page, the Qianlong Emperor is seen dressed in a formal robe worshiping the Heaven. The Album is classified as grade-one national treasure, and five of them are now showcased in the gallery.
The exhibition “Entering the Forbidden City: Architecture, Collection, and Heritage” in Gallery 1 features the portraits of Empress Dowager Ci’an in leisure clothing that are still in circulation today. This rare portrait bears the Tongzhi Emperor’s seal impressions and handwritten inscription of “may the sun forever shine upon the lady’s residence”, a common birthday wish for a mother. Another highlight of Gallery 1 is a portrait of the Qianlong Emperor in a pale blue court robe with dragons and clouds motif.
Due to conservation concerns, some works of art are displayed on a rotating basis. Most objects in this rotation will only be exhibited for three months until the end of June 2023.
The museum also has two special exhibitions that showcase the design and craftmanship of ancient and contemporary accessories, examining how these works marry Eastern and Western aesthetics and cultures. “Radiance: Ancient Gold from the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the Mengdiexuan Collection” in Gallery 9 is the first special exhibition from the Museum’s permanent collection, and the biggest exhibition in Hong Kong in recent years that highlights the artistic and technical achievements of gold in ancient China.
The exhibition offers an incredible display of 220 sets of gold objects and explores the role of gold in the political activities, life, culture, and dynamic connections across territories over the past 3,000 years. The majority of the exhibits are specially selected from a donation made to the Hong Kong Palace Museum by the owners of the world-renowned Mengdiexuan Collection (夢蝶軒), Betty Lo and Kenneth Chu. The exhibition runs until 25 September 2023.
The special exhibition “Cartier and Women” will be on view from April 14-August 14 in Gallery 8. Featuring approximately 300 stunning Cartier creations, this exhibition displays jewellery, timepieces, precious objects, accessories, and archival records from the 19th century to the present day. It tells fascinating stories of the close relationship between women and jewellery while reflecting on the influence of Chinese aesthetics on women’s lifestyle and fashion around the world.
Header image credits: Palace Museum