Hong Kong Palace Museum to open on July 2, featuring national treasures from Beijing
Published: Jun 07, 2022 05:37 PM
Photo taken on Nov. 18, 2020 shows an interior view of the completed main structure of the Hong Kong Palace Museum building in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)

Photo taken on Nov. 18, 2020 shows an interior view of the completed main structure of the Hong Kong Palace Museum building in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)

Over 900 artworks and cultural relics from the Palace Museum in Beijing will be displayed in July in Hong Kong to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the city's return to China. Among the numerous relics, many will be exhibited for the first time in Hong Kong.

Scheduled on July 2, the exhibition is also the largest loan by the Palace Museum to another institution since its establishment in 1925, said the Palace Museum at press conference on Tuesday. Selected from the more than 1.86 million precious items in the Beijing museum, a total of 914 relics will be put on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The items on loan include 166 first-class cultural relics recognized as national treasures, accounting for 18 percent of all items on display.

The borrowed relics, which will be displayed across nine galleries inside of the museum, also cover a wide range of art from paintings and drawings to calligraphy and embroidery. It will also showcase jewelry, sculptures, ancient books and architectural works covering China's 5,000 years of history.

Louis Ng Chi-wa, director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, told media that he has high expectations for the opening of the museum. 

"Each object from the Palace Museum on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum has its unique historical, cultural, artistic or scientific significance, demonstrating China's time-honored and illustrious cultural traditions," he said according to the Xinhua News Agency. He added that the opening in July will be a great opportunity to present these treasures to both Chinese and foreign visitors and share the interesting stories behind them with the public.

In a display list obtained by the Global Times, well-known artworks such as the painting Rhapsody on the Luohe River Goddess by artist Gu Kaizhi of the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and Autumn Colors among Rivers and Mountains by Zhao Boju of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The former was adapted from an eminent long-celebrated lyrical poem "Rhapsody on the Luohe River Goddess" (or Luoshen Fu) from more than 1,800 years ago, while the latter is famous for presenting the recognizable landscape in a blue-and-green style.

Other national treasures also include ceramics such as an extremely rare Ru kiln brush washer from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), and an imperial jade seal used by emperors during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

To protect the fragile relics on loan, they will be displayed from one month to one year at the Hong Kong Palace Museum. For example, due to the delicate nature of the books and paintings, which can easily be damaged by humidity and long exposure to light, they will only be put on display for one to three months, after which they will be returned to Beijing. 

In addition to displaying cultural relics, the Hong Kong Palace Museum will also focus on education by hosting seminars, movie screenings, art workshops and teacher trainings. 

After almost three-year construction, the Hong Kong Palace Museum has signed cooperation contracts with the Palace Museum. 

Global Times