THE WONDERS OF BAMBOO: CHINESE BAMBOO CARVING DONATED BY DR IP YEE (from 14th March 2015, closing date not yet announced)

The famous quote by Song dynasty scholar Su Shi, "Rather eat without meat than live without bamboo", reveals the high status in which bamboo was once held among China's literati and high society. Running from 14th March 2015 "The Wonders of Bamboo: Chinese Bamboo Carving Donated by Dr Ip Yee" exhibition showcases over 150 Chinese carved bamboo artefacts from different periods, providing visitors with a comprehensive display of this particular genre of Chinese art.

All exhibits were donated by collector Dr Ip Yee (1921-1984), and they reveal both the development of Chinese bamboo carving and the exquisite craftsmanship of bamboo carvers. The exhibition also commemorates the generosity of Dr Ip Yee, who went to great lengths to promote the art of bamboo carving before bequeathing his collection to the people of Hong Kong.

Highlights include a bamboo toad carved by the renowned bamboo carver Zhu Ying in the Ming dynasty; a brush pot depicting in low relief "Ding Shan shooting a wild goose" carved by the Qing master Wu Zhifan; a monkey on a horse carved in the round from the Kangxi period of the Qing dynasty; a wrist-rest engraved with the god of longevity from the Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty; a brush-rest in the form of nine chi-dragons carved in the round from the 18th century; and a cricket cage carved with flowers and insects in "liuqing" low relief by the famous 20th century liuqing bamboo carver Xu Subai.


"The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea" carved in the round in the 19th century

Bamboo is characterised by its hollowness, upright appearance and tenacious quality, and was frequently associated with Chinese literati of lofty temperament as well as with dignity and integrity. Partly for these reasons bamboo became symbolic of the gentleman in historical China. From the Tang dynasty onwards, appreciating, praising, painting and carving bamboo became fashionable. During the Ming and Qing periods, simple and elegant bamboo carvings were favoured by the literati as studio accoutrements, making this a prosperous period for bamboo carving. Bamboo carvings exemplified the artistic preferences of literati in terms of motifs, techniques and charms, thus enhancing the art of bamboo carving and exhibiting the aesthetic value of bamboo artefacts as a fine art.

Dr Ip was a passionate advocate of Chinese antiquities, and with his family's assistance he began collecting them during the 1950s. He was one of the founding members of the Min Chiu Society and a member of the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong. His collection reflected a wide range of interests though he had a preference for bamboo carved artefacts. From the 1960s onwards he put great effort into collecting bamboo carvings and was influential in related research and promotion work. After Dr Ip passed away in 1984 his family donated 200 items of Chinese bamboo carvings to the City Museum and Art Gallery (now the Hong Kong Museum of Art), making the Museum of Art the custodian of one of the most comprehensive and representative collections of Chinese bamboo carving.

Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The museum is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is HK$10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time Hong Kong students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For further information see the Museum of Art website; 


Lin Sheng-shih (1914-1991) has been described as an "evergreen musician" in the history of Chinese music, and made remarkable achievements in composition, conducting and music education. To pay tribute to this talented musician the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department have organised a thematic exhibition entitled "The Hong Kong Musicians Series: 'Ode to China', Lin Sheng-shih". The exhibition introduces Lin's life and work by showcasing records, musical score sheets and photographs as well as news clippings about him.

Lin was born in Xinhui, Guangdong province and started learning to play the piano at a young age. He later majored in piano at the National Conservatory of Music (now known as Shanghai Conservatory of Music), where he studied music harmony and composition theories. After his graduation in 1935, Lin embarked on a career as a composer, music teacher and conductor. Having won numerous rewards during his lifelong music career, Lin, along with composer Huang Yau-tai and lyricist Wei Han-tseung, was named one of the "Three Veterans of Hong Kong Music".

In his music career of nearly 60 years Lin composed over 300 songs, including his famous works "River of Crimson" and "Home Behind the Clouds". His work was full of admiration for the country and a passion of life. He was also actively involved in music education and taught at various tertiary schools including the National Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou (now known as Sun Yat-sen University), Hong Kong Union College (now United College, Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Lingnan College (now Lingnan University). Lin was also a conductor of the South China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of China.

The exhibition, now open, is being held in the Arts Document Reading Room at 10/F, Hong Kong Central Library, 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay until 30th June 2015. The library is open from 10am until 9pm daily except Wednesdays when opening hours are 1pm until 9pm and public holidays when the library is open from 10am until 7pm. Admission is free.

Some of the items on display at the exhibition at Hong Kong Central Library 


"Sparkle! regarding lightness: On Life's Way" exhibition opened at Oi! at North Point on 13th February 2015 and runs until 21st June 2015. The exhibition features works by several artists dedicated to different creative aspects and aims to explore the unique worlds that the artists inhabit and the trajectories of their lives.

The exhibition is curated by Yeung Yang, Susi Law, Joao Li, So Wai-lam and Wong Chun-hoi and is the result of an in-depth dialogue among the curators and the artists that took place over more than two years. The exhibition suggests three states of going - "Where else to go", "Elsewhere to go" and "Way to go" - as entry points to consider the different forms of life journeys and the introspection of the artists, and to prompt people to pay attention to and appreciate the trivial things in daily life through videos, installations, drawings and mixed media works.

Participating artists include Mak Ying-tung, Sunday Lai, Wong Chun-hoi, Thickest Choi, Swing Lam, Fiona Lee, Joe Chan and "Wong Kit-yi (with Ali Wong)". Some of them are questioning "where else to go" and search for the direction of their artistic path, some naturally wander and consider "elsewhere to go" in order to gain feelings from other places, and some believe that art becomes powerful as long as they keep pursuing it to find a "way to go".

Joe Chan has created a "mirror" formed by hundreds of bowls to reflect living in a densely populated city and how people cannot detach themselves from it, and "Wong Kit-yi (with Ali Wong)" will invite audiences to participate in her uncompleted North Pole expedition project in this exhibition


Joe Chan has created a "mirror" formed by hundreds of bowls to reflect living in a densely populated city and how people cannot detach themselves from it

Mak Ying-tung uses pedestals that support artworks as a metaphor to reflect the situations of artists, Sunday Lai uses video to capture certain situations or street scenes and puts them together without predetermined direction, and Wong Chun-hoi comments on today's media art through a schema of monotonous and repetitive circuits.

Thickest Choi presents an anthology of diagrams of places in Hong Kong by re-imagining those places through the place names and his personal experiences, while Swing Lam constructs a city from his childhood imagination and Fiona Lee reviews her adventure of exploring the materials of light and sound in the past several years.

"Sparkle! regarding lightness: On Life's Way" is the fifth exhibition of the "Sparkle!" exhibition series, which is organised by Oi! of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The series comprises seven exhibitions, all conceived by young and outstanding local curators. Collaborating with design partner Karr Yip, the curators have been drawing up plans for exhibitions that look into the possible merging of art and daily life and its promotion. The exhibitions encourage creativity while making available an open platform at Oi! for local curators and art practitioners.

Admission is free. Oi! is located at 12 Oil Street, North Point. For further details of the exhibition see the Oi! website; 

SPARKLE! I WANNA EAT YUMMY (until 31st May 2015)

An exhibition entitled "Sparkle! I Wanna Eat Yummy Yummy" is running from 30th January 2015 until 31st May 2015 at Oi!. The exhibition links eating and art to portray "Hong Kong flavours" in innovative ways.

Guest curator Janet Fong has invited six local artists to create works on the theme of food and art. The artworks draw on the diverse personal experiences and artistic backgrounds of their creators, and guide visitors to reflect on the heterogeneity of the "Hong Kong spirit". The six sets of artworks are distinctive, yet all are rich in "Hong Kong flavours".

Choi Yan-chi sets out to create a dialogue with participants on the concept of virtual space and trigger an exchange of thoughts through food sharing. This dialogue is delivered in video and text formats.

Freeman Lau has created a gigantic fortune cookie made from bamboo for visitors to write down their wishes and blessings and hang them from the giant cookie.

Freeman Lau's gigantic fortune cookie

Inspired by a combination of the streetscapes of Kowloon City, the Sung Wong Toi historic relic and tableware, Li Peng uses powdered spices to create artworks that re-examine the complicated relationship between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Ng Ka-chun has created utensils from the wooden handles of hoes, extending the life of these old farming tools through his craftsmanship and drawing the audience's attention to the close ties between farmland development in Hong Kong and the city's residents.

Samson Young presents a contemporary version of "Coffee Cantata", a secular music composition by JS Bach written in 1732, using installation with video and music.


Samson Young's contemporary version of "Coffee Cantata"

Morgan Wong uses his installation work to express his concerns about longevity and lifespan.

"Sparkle! I Wanna Eat Yummy Yummy" is the fourth exhibition in the "Sparkle!" exhibition series, which is organised by Oi! of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The series comprises seven exhibitions, all conceived by young and outstanding local curators. Collaborating with their design partner, Karr Yip, the curators have been drawing up plans for exhibitions that look into the possible merging of art and daily life and its promotion. The exhibitions encourage creativity while making available an open and experimental art creation platform at Oi! for local art practitioners.

Oi! is located at 12 Oil Street, North Point. For further details see Oi!'s website; 

BEHIND THE POSTMAN UNIFORM (from 18th December 2014 until early December 2015) 

Postal services are closely related to our everyday life. Have you ever thought about how the postman's uniform is designed or how its design has evolved over time? What are the interesting stories that lie behind its evolution?

Presented by the Public Records Office (PRO) of the Government Records Service (GRS), the exhibition "Behind the Postman Uniform" runs from 18th December 2014 at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Public Records Building, taking visitors on a retrospective tour of the development of the postman's uniform in the period from the 1950s to 1990s.

The exhibition traces the development of the postman's uniform by showcasing about 60 exhibits and images that document the exchange of ideas on the design and manufacture of the uniform between the department and its employees. Highlight exhibits include a memorandum on uniform designs by the Postmaster General in the 1970s, a questionnaire for postmen on uniform design, design samples of uniform badges and a sizing form. Other exhibits include button samples forwarded from other government departments (for design reference), a summer uniform shirt for an Assistant Postman, and design sketches of summer and winter uniforms.

The PRO is the government section designated for preserving the historical records of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The Office is committed to appraising and acquiring records and materials of enduring value and making them available for public access. Since its establishment in 1972, the PRO has acquired historical records from more than 130 government agencies including Hongkong Post, which is one of the oldest government departments. In 2009, the PRO acquired from Hongkong Post 11 historical records which document the development of the postman's uniform. Such records enable the public to understand Hong Kong's postal development through a new perspective and to appreciate the diverse and comprehensive nature of historical records.

Perhaps the term "historical records" may leave an impression that records always comprise paper documents. In reality records are surprisingly diverse, and in this exhibition also uniform shirts, accessories such as gloves and buttons, fabric samples and colourful design sketches.


Postman posing in uniform (1970's)

The postman's uniform may appear ordinary, but it has a significant bearing on work efficiency and departmental image. An ideal uniform strikes a balance between practicality and the need to promote a departmental image. Before World War II, uniform designs were dominated by the considerations of image and appearance, and the representation of the department. Comfort and practical needs of the wearer were not the main concern in designing the uniform. However, in the post-war years a change in attitude and practice emerged when staff opinions were collected and considered in order to improve the qualities and designs of the uniform.

To complement the exhibition, the GRS has also specially developed an online Reference Resource Page with an interactive guide to help users understand government historical records. In the "How to read government historical records?" section, the functions and significance of individual parts of a record are introduced and explained. Through this simple and quick introduction, users are able to grasp the basics of reading government records easily, making archive research more fun for the public. In addition, the page also features articles from local and overseas scholars who share their views and experience of reading government historical records in the PRO. The Reference Resource Page can be easily accessed at;

The exhibition will be open to the public from Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5.45pm. Admission is free.

PRO is located on 1/F, Hong Kong Public Records Building, 13 Tsui Ping Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon.


STRANGE MATTER (until 15th April 2015) 

How can glass become unbreakable? How can metal revert to its original shape after bending? Magic is not the answer to these questions - these processes are the result of continuous research by scientists into the properties of materials and their innovative applications. Running from 12th December 2015 until 15th April 2015 at Hong Kong Science Museum, the "Strange Matter" exhibition reveals the secrets of various innovative materials and scientific applications.

The exhibition is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and organised by the Hong Kong Science Museum, with exhibits produced and provided by the Ontario Science Centre, Canada, and the Materials Research Society in the US.

Featuring 13 groups of interactive exhibits, the exhibition introduces the scientific principles behind many interesting and useful materials. The exhibition also explains how these materials are used to develop new products such as car shock absorbers, eyeglass frames, computer chips and golf clubs, as well as speculating on the future development of materials science.

The exhibition includes some interesting interactive features. For instance, a "Smash the Glass" challenge allows visitors to test the strength of tempered glass by smashing it with a bowling ball. If you wish to test your vision and dexterity, don't miss "Shape Memory Alloy", where you can try to drop a marble into a cup using a robotic arm made of shape-memory alloy wires. Visitors to "Ferrofluid" will be able to see how iron particles create an amazing artwork through the application of a magnetic field, while "Demonstration Theatre" and "Touch Tables" explore the fascinating properties of different materials. In addition, the exhibition includes a display of objects and models which show the material properties and evolution of various modern items, such as glass, tin cans and snowboards.

The exhibit "Smash the Glass" allows visitors to learn how glass can be made unbreakable through the application of material science. Visitors can test the strength of tempered glass by smashing it with a bowling ball

Hong Kong Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. It is open from 10am to 7pm Monday to Wednesday and Friday. 10am to 9pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year. The museum closes at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve.

For further details of the exhibition see; 


In conjunction with a major a new retrospective, "Run Run Shaw's Factory of Dreams", featuring selected films produced by Sir Run Run Shaw, Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) is presenting an exhibition "The Foundation of Run Run Shaw's Cinema Empire" from 12th December 2014 until 5th April 2015 at the Exhibition Hall of the HKFA to showcase Shaw's entrepreneurship and the making of the Shaw Brothers legend. Numerous precious artefacts, including old Shaw family photos, photos and letters from Shaw's early career and handbills, will be exhibited.

 Sir Run Run Shaw moved from Singapore to Hong Kong in 1957 to establish his factory of dreams, the Shaw Brothers Studio, and greatly influenced the filmmaking industry for over half a century. Shaw had the ambition of presenting Chinese-language films to the world and recruited numerous film talents around Southeast Asia, leading to the rapid expansion of his company in the 1960s. Shaw's studio housed many renowned directors and film stars, including Li Han-hsiang, Griffin Yueh Feng, Doe Ching, Chang Cheh, Jimmy Wang Yu, Ti Lung, John Chiang, Elliot Yueh Hua, Linda Lin Dai, Patricia Lam Fung, Cheng Pei-pei and Li Ching, and produced more than 800 films in Hong Kong alone.

The meticulously crafted sets, lighting and costumes created the magnificent atmosphere in many Shaw Brothers period epics, which started a new cinematic trend. Shaw's first film as producer, "Princess Yang Kwei Fei" (1955) was a groundbreaking collaboration with the Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi that portrayed a refreshingly different version of Princess Yang through Japanese eyes, while Li Han-hsiang's version, "Yang Kwei Fei" (1962), was a costly production that took three years to finish. Li's visually splendid piece was the winner of the Grand Prize for sustained high quality in colour at the Cannes Film Festival. Another award-winning work by Li, "The Kingdom and the Beauty" (1959), was one of his most successful huangmei diao movies and was filled with stunningly beautiful sets and costumes, turning the leading actress, Linda Lin Dai, into a superstar. Starring Chao Lei and Betty Loh Ti, "The Enchanting Shadow" (1960) played up a ghostly atmosphere with creative lighting methods. "A Maid from Heaven" (1963) featured a romantic tale between the mortal and the immortal. Li left Shaw Brothers halfway through the filming and made a new version of the same film, while directors Ho Moon-hwa and Chen Yet-sun were appointed to continue with the uncompleted work based on Li's original script. The two competing versions were released concurrently, becoming the talk of the town.


Film still from "Princess Yang Kwei Fei" (1955)

Shaw Brothers' Cantonese film unit successfully tapped into the ethnic Chinese market in Southeast Asia with an array of youth films, featuring "the Jewel of Shaw", Patricia Lam Fung, as well as Cheung Ying-choi and Mak Kay, and kept up the strength of Cantonese cinema. Lam, who was gorgeous and fashionable, starred in most of the Cantonese unit's productions, including the mysterious schoolyard romance "Sweet Girl in Terror" (1958); the melodrama "The Merdeka Bridge" (1959), depicting the love between a songstress and a poor artist, Cheung Ying-choi; and the Cantonese opera film "The Peach Blossom Fan" (1961), co-starring Law Kim-long, Lam Kar-sing and Lam Yim.

Romance films produced by Shaw Brothers pleased their audiences with good-looking casts and depicted love stories in the big city. Directed and written by Doe Ching, "All the Best" (1961) tells the story of a foreign-educated bachelor, Peter Chen Ho, looking for his future wife, while "Oh Boys! Oh Girls!" (1961) follows two love-pursuing sisters, Margaret Tu Chuan and Florence Yu Fung-chi. The prints for these two films were retrieved from the US and show audiences the early Shaw Brothers romantic comedies on the big screen. More funny and hilarious scenes can be found in the contemporary urban romance "The Fair Sex!" (1961) and in "My Lucky Star" (1963), starring King Hu and Betty Loh Ti as a married couple. Also directed by Doe, "Love Without End" (1961) depicts the tragedy of a songstress who sacrifices for her lover. In addition to winning Best Theme Song at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival, the film also earned the leading actress, Linda Lin Dai, her fourth best actress prize. Beyond the romance genre, Shaw Brothers' melodramas, such as Griffin Yueh Feng's "Bitter Sweet" (1963) and Lo Chen's "Her Sister's Keeper" (1963), portray family love.

Grand musical movies not only showcase eye-catching stage settings and fashionable costumes but also the production scale and capacity of Shaw Brothers. The winner of the Golden Hay Award for Best Comedy at the Asian Film Festival, "Love Parade" (1963) features multiple sets with bright colours and exquisitely designed fashion shows, in which Linda Lin Dai shows more than 20 costumes all designed by herself. "Hong Kong Nocturne" (1967) is a story about three sisters who dance in their father's magic shows before parting ways to pursue their dreams. Starring popular young Shaw Brothers stars, namely Peter Chen Ho, Cheng Pei-pei, Chin Ping and Lily Ho, each scene of the film is distinctively entertaining in its own way. "When the Clouds Roll By" (1968) is a hybrid of romance, suspense and mysterious thriller, and its musical sequences light up the heavy story with a dreamlike youth romance. Wuxia film director Chang Cheh and scriptwriter Chiu Kang-chien took reference of Western movies in making "The Singing Thief" (1969), with ethnic Japanese singer Jimmy Lin Chong playing a diamond thief. Even today, the film is striking for its modern style. In "River of Tears" (1969), Jenny Hu plays a mysterious songstress loved by two brothers. Some interlude songs in the film were sung by famous singer Mona Fong.

"Colour Wuxia Century" was a wuxia action film project launched by Shaw Brothers. The first work of the project was director Hsu Tseng-hung's "Temple of the Red Lotus" (1965), starring Jimmy Wang Yu. The film discards the wuxia genre's fantasy elements and strengthens the realism of action and sets, making the action choreography less stage-like. "King Cat" (1967), another well-known work by Hsu, is characterised by smooth editing, a fast pace and a condensed plot with which the average TV version cannot compare. King Hu combined the music and martial arts of Peking opera with fast-paced action and editing in "Come Drink with Me" (1966), creating a groundbreaking work that remains one of the most influential films of the genre. Directed and scripted by Chang Cheh, "The Trail of the Broken Blade" (1967) is a fusion of romance and wuxia. The male-dominated romance film features the male leads as great fighters with selfless love, and the film's complicated love quadrangle ends tragically. With the cast of John Chiang, Ti Lung and Chan Koon-tai, Chang Cheh's "The Blood Brothers" (1973) neatly portrays brotherhood and betrayal with intense emotions. Peter Pan Lei's "The Fastest Sword" (1968) focuses on the self-reflection of a young arrogant swordsman enlightened by an old sage and Lo Wei's "Raw Courage" (1969) is an adventure story with elements of wuxia and spy plots.

Among the films of Shaw Brothers, there were also some special genres. Directed by Japanese director Inoue Umetsugu, "Apartment for Ladies" (1970) features bold modern women and their youthful vitality. Lui Kay's erotic film "Women of Desire" (1974) showcases the passion and betrayal between couples and highlights the contradictions of sexual desire and morality. Chor Yuen's "Hong Kong 73" (1974), adapted from a TVB drama, combines short situation dramas into a film-length work to portray the big news of the day. "Dracula and the Seven Golden Vampires" (1974) was a collaboration between Shaw Brothers and Britain's Hammer Studios. With a bizarre plot, the film uses special effects massively, injecting Chinese kung fu elements into Western film genres.

Film still from "Dracula and the Seven Golden Vampires" (1974)

Hong Kong Film Archive is located at 50 Lei King Road, Sai Wan Ho, about 5 minutes walk from exit A of Sai Wan Ho MTR Station.The exhibition hall at HKFA is open from 10am to 8pm daily but is closed on Tuesdays (except on public holidays) and days when no exhibition is taking place. Admission is free.

During the retrospective, over 30 films of the Shaw Brothers Studio from the 1950s to the 1970s will be screened at the cinema of the HKFA, including period epics, youth films, melodramas, musical films and wuxia action films. "Princess Yang Kwei Fei" is in Japanese; "Dracula and the Seven Golden Vampires" is in English; "Sweet Girl in Terror", "The Merdeka Bridge", "The Peach Blossom Fan", "All the Best", "Oh Boys! Oh Girls!", "The Fair Sex!" and "Hong Kong 73" are in Cantonese; and all the other films are in Mandarin. "Sweet Girl in Terror", "The Merdeka Bridge" and "The Peach Blossom Fan" are without subtitles, while the other films have either English or Chinese subtitles or both Chinese and English subtitles. For full details of screenings, associated seminars and ticketing arrangements see; 


An exhibition entitled "The Four Gentlemen: A Selection of Flower Paintings from the Hong Kong Museum of Art Collection" runs from 5th December 2014 at the Chinese Fine Art Gallery of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The closing date of the exhibition has not yet been announced. The exhibited paintings are selected from the museum's collection over 70 pieces of works by calligraphers and painters from the Ming dynasty to modern period, and reveal the charm of the so-called "Four Gentlemen".

Plum blossoms, orchids, chrysanthemums and bamboo each have their own characteristics and are traditionally known by the analogy "The Four Gentlemen". They are widely employed by calligraphers and painters as themes in their paintings and poems. The exhibition has five categories, namely "The Four Gentlemen", "Unyielding Loyalty: Plum Blossom", "Ethereal Elegance: Orchid", "Lofty Reclusion: Chrysanthemum" and "Noble Humility: Bamboo", and showcases artworks by famous calligraphers and painters including Xu Wei of the Ming dynasty, Zheng Xie of the Qing dynasty, and Wu Changshuo and Zhang Daqian of the modern period.


"Plum Blossom and Bamboo" (1961) by Zhang Daqian

The analogy of "The Four Gentlemen" originated in the reign of Wanli during the Ming dynasty, when the literati painter Chen Jiru inscribed the phrase in an artist's manual for painting plum blossoms, bamboo, orchids and chrysanthemums. Famous calligraphers, painters and literati such as Tao Yuanming and Su Shi always employed the theme of "The Four Gentlemen" in their paintings and poems so as to glorify and pursue the noble character and sentiments of a gentleman. During Chinese New Year, "The Four Gentlemen" were commonly used in traditional folk culture as a way of sending blessings.

According to the tradition, plum trees in full bloom during a frosty winter symbolise the steadfast and unyielding qualities of a junzi - a gentleman or nobleman. The orchid, growing in serene valleys with its unique aroma symbolises a gracious character in defiance of the mundane. The chrysanthemum, flowering in autumn and withstanding frost speaks of fortitude and integrity, while the upright bamboo reaching to the clouds represents noble humility. Appreciating and acquiring the characteristics of "The Four Gentlemen" could cleanse one's mind and add gracefulness to one's personality.

Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The museum is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is HK$10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time Hong Kong students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For further information see the Hong Museum of Art website; 


Running from 28th November 2014 until 16th March 2015, “Dunhuang – Untold Tales, Untold Riches” is not only the largest exhibition of its kind ever held in Hong Kong, but also the largest among all exhibitions ever organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, with a total gallery area of 2,300 square metres. Showcasing some 120 sets of exhibits, the exhibition introduces numerous aspects of Dunhuang culture including religion, art, history and folklore.

The exhibition marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Dunhuang Academy and pays tribute to a group of scholars who ventured into the Gobi Desert during the past century to start copying mural images and study and preserve the caves and relics of Dunhuang.

Dunhuang was a strategically positioned city on the ancient Silk Road with the Central Plains of China on its east and the western regions on its west, and different cultures and artistic aspects of various dynasties and regions integrated to give the Dunhuang caves a rich and exuberant outlook. The vast content of architecture, murals, painted stucco statues and documents has left behind precious information and has thus been referred to as the "Encyclopaedia of the Middle Ages" and a "Library on the Wall". Among the caves, the Mogao Caves host the most well preserved and most extensive group of rock-cut caves in the Dunhuang region. It is also the most vast extant conglomeration of Buddhist rock-cut temples in the world. In 1987, the Mogao Caves were among the first batch of Chinese sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, reflecting their cultural value.

The exhibition begins with the origins and history of Dunhuang, and unfolds chronologically to reveal aspects in religion, art, social life, East-West cultural exchange and cultural relics preservation in order to illuminate the magnitude, dissemination and development of Dunhuang culture. The exhibits cover all of the core aspects of Dunhuang grotto art, including replica caves, replica painted stucco statues, Buddhist script items, relics of Dunhuang, and copies of the cave murals produced by the founding pioneers of the National Dunhuang Art Research Institute (a precursor to the Dunhuang Academy), including Chang Shuhong and Duan Wenjie.


A corner of the gallery at the exhibition

One of the highlight exhibits is a 13-metre-long replica painted stucco statue of the Nirvana Buddha, which was constructed during the 8th and 9th centuries when Dunhuang was under Tibetan rule. The length of the original reclining Buddha is 15.8 metres, making it the largest among all depictions of the Nirvana Buddha at Mogao. The Buddha is portrayed as lying on his right side with a subtly smiling face, reflecting the ultimate realm of enjoying spiritual tranquillity. Another highlight is "Chapter on Universal Gate of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Lotus Sutra", which is the only extant example of an illustrated sutra written in the Tangut script in China. The work is rich in content, with the upper section occupied by illustrations while the lower section is reserved for printed text, thus providing an important historical reference for studying the culture of the Western Xia period.


The seated Buddha, shown above in a replica, is one of the finest stucco statues at Dunhuang and also an exemplary statue of the Meditation Buddha belonging to the Northern Dynasties period. Portrayed as sitting in a lotus position on a square throne, Sakyamuni's upright and robust build, straight nose, large eyes and full face suggest the influence of the western regions

The museum has also constructed three significant replica caves. The largest one recreates a representative cave that is from the early Tang dynasty and is one of the very few firmly dated Dunhuang caves. The smallest replica is based on a cave that was constructed in the late Yuan dynasty and is the only extant cave at Dunhuang devoted entirely to Avalokitesvara. The last one recreates a cave constructed during the Northern Liang regime at the end of the Sixteen Kingdoms period and which is one of the earliest extant caves at Mogao. Produced at full scale, these three replica caves show the murals and stucco statues of the caves and allow visitors to experience the charm of Dunhuang culture.

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Dunhuang Academy, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Dunhuang Academy. Solely sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, it is one of the exhibitions in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Series. It is also supported by the Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Limited, the Hong Kong Design Institute, the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee) and the Friends of Dunhuang Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). The museum is within three minutes walk of Che Kung Temple Station, on MTR Ma On Shan Line.

For further details of the exhibition, see the Heritage Museum’s website; 


A large-scale exhibition entitled "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Treasures from Tsarskoye Selo, Residence of the Russian Monarchs" is being held at the Hong Kong Museum of History from 29th October 2014 until 16th March 2015, to showcase artefacts from Russia's Romanov dynasty. The exhibition represents a major collaboration between government museums in Russia and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong and Russian governments signed a memorandum of understanding on cultural co-operation in September 2011.

The Russian artefacts exhibition is the largest of its kind ever staged in Hong Kong. Hundreds of exhibits selected from the collections of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve of Russia are on display. These include paintings, costumes, porcelain, works of art and a spectacular carriage. They give a clearer picture of the history and culture of Russia and, in particular, evidence of the long-lasting exchanges between Russia and China.

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve of Russia, with the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve of Russia as the co-organisers. Solely sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, it is one of the exhibitions in the 2014 Hong Kong Jockey Club Series.

Tsarskoye Selo, a summer residence of the Russian monarchs, witnessed not only the birth of the Russian Empire in the 18th century, but also the end of its monarchy in 1917.

One of the exhibit highlights, a richly decorated carriage with harnesses used for the coronation of Emperor Alexander II in Moscow in 1856, has been loaned out by the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve of Russia for the first time.


Pulled by six horses fitted with decorative harnesses, this four-seater carriage was made on the orders of the imperial court for the ceremonial entry of Emperor Alexander II into Moscow during his coronation on August 29, 1856. The decor repeatedly features heraldic two-headed eagles as well as blossoming pomegranates bearing fruit. In Europe, pomegranate blossoms symbolised friendship and amity, while the fruit itself denoted national unity under imperial power

Since the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 1913, the full set of carriage and harnesses has not been used again or put together for public viewing. The Hong Kong Museum of History has taken this opportunity to showcase the full set of the artefacts with a view to introducing the splendour of the coronation of the Russian monarchs as well as the high standards of craftsmanship maintained by the imperial manufactories in Russia. Other highlights include decorative items from Tsarskoye Selo produced by imperial manufactories in Russia and diplomatic gifts presented to Russia from foreign royal houses.

In addition, visitors will be able to see Chinese artefacts, including an 18th century Guangdong lacquer vase presented to the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, in the name of the last emperor of China, Puyi, as well as Chinese-style works of art produced by imperial manufactories in Russia.

This drawing depicts the coronation of Emperor Alexander II held in Moscow in 1856. The cathedrals of the Kremlin were richly decorated, while the Ivan the Great Bell Tower was brightly illuminated and there was a vast assembly of people. (©The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve, St Petersburg, 2014.)

Beyond the attractive exhibits, multimedia programmes are also available during the exhibition period. For example, the Catherine Palace, one of the palaces in Tsarskoye Selo, will be presented in a 360-degree virtual reality zone, where visitors will be shown eight of its rooms in life size, including the Amber Room, which has been acclaimed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

To tie in with the exhibition, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will host three sessions of Russian music performances at the 1/F Lobby of the Museum of History for visitors to learn more about the history and culture of Russia. The performances will be held on November 16, December 28; and February 8, 2015. The exhibition is also being supplemented by two publications: a fully illustrated catalogue and a specially designed pop-up children's booklet. This is the first time that the Museum of History has produced a children's booklet with rich graphics, easy-to-read text and interactive elements, including pop-ups, through which readers will be able to familiarise themselves with the history of Tsarskoye Selo and the broader context of Russian history.

Hong Kong Museum of History is located at 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). The standard admission fee for the "Treasures from Tsarskoye Selo, Residence of the Russian Monarchs" exhibition is HK$20. Groups of 20 persons or above can obtain a 30 per cent discount, with each ticket priced at HK$14. The concession ticket is HK$10. Free admission on Wednesday is not applicable for this special exhibition.

For further information see the Hong Kong Museum of History website;

ALL ARE GUESTS - HOMECOMING (from 18th October 2014 - closing date not yet announced) 

After being well received in Liverpool and Taipei, the artworks from the "All Are Guests" exhibition are now back in Hong Kong and on display at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

The "All Are Guests - Homecoming" exhibition, which opened on 18th October 2014, features works by artists Leung Mee-ping, Chow Chun-fai and art group CoLAB x SLOW. Through different media, the participating artists examine their own sense of self in relation to the city in the light of the intricate yet subtle host-guest dynamics of the contemporary world.

Leung Mee-ping's video installation "Out of Place" focuses her lens on drifters roaming in different Asian cities and expresses her concerns about marginalised social groups while exploring the identity of urban visitors. In a regional perspective, her work reveals the hefty social price in terms of wider wealth gaps and unemployment resulting from globalisation of trade and extraordinary economic growth. Being an artist based in an international city, Leung produces work that reflects the tension between individuals and collectives in developing cities. Her work addresses social issues and shows the depth of her human concern, which is also expressed in most works by Hong Kong artists.

In "Reproducing 'Hong Kong Our Home Theme Song'", Chow Chun-fai rediscovers the city in which he was born and bred and ponders the meaning of a city's "real" portrait through the process of reconstruction and integration. His work examines and searches for the cultural identity of Hong Kong in a satirical mood, echoing the signs of identity crisis and black humour prevalent in Hong Kong art.


"Reproducing 'Hong Kong Our Home Theme Song'", Chow Chun-fai

"So... Soap!" by CoLAB x SLOW is a cross-disciplinary collaboration project that brings together creative forces in design, music and video-making with community-based non-governmental organisations. Participants intervene in the city and serve the grass roots with social enterprise initiatives. As a social enterprise project and a design product making its way towards an art exhibition, it blurs the subject-object roles in the art world in a thought-provoking way. The project's existence helps challenge established thinking and conceptions in the contemporary art world.


As a social enterprise project and a design product making its way to an art exhibition, "So...Soap!" by CoLAB x SLOW helps challenge established thinking and conceptions in the contemporary art world

The "All Are Guests" exhibition has participated in the Liverpool Biennial 2012 in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong Week 2013 in Taipei. The Hong Kong Museum of Art has brought the artworks back to Hong Kong to share with locals and visitors the artists' creativity and achievements.

Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon and is open 10am to 6pm Monday to Wednesday and Friday. 10am to 7pm Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Closes at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve. Closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

For further details of the exhibition see the museum's website;


"BRUCE LEE: KUNG FU -ART - LIFE" (five-year exhibition, runs from 20th July 2013 until 2018)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the passing away of the internationally renowned martial arts movie star Bruce Lee. A large-scale exhibition, "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu • Art • Life", is being held at the
Hong Kong Heritage Museum in commemoration. Presented by the Hong Kong Government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and jointly organised by the Bruce Lee Foundation and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the exhibition is one of the highlight programmes of the "Vibrant Hong Kong" theme under the territory-wide "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign launched this year. Sponsored by Fortune Star Media Limited, the exhibition is open from 20th July 2013 and will run for five years at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

The exhibition features more than 600 precious relics related to Bruce Lee and the exhibition gallery houses several sets of reconstructions, which were created with ideas inspired by prominent scenes in Lee's five classic kung fu movies as well as his gym and his study to enhance visitors' experiences in viewing the exhibition

Bruce Lee took kung fu to a whole new level of recognition and a new international audience with his natural charisma and physical prowess. He introduced Hong Kong to the world through his films and did more in this area than any other person. Movies such as "Fist of Fury", "The Way of the Dragon" and "Enter the Dragon" have been considered by film critics to be all-time classics that transcend generational, cultural and geographical boundaries. The exhibition takes visitors on a marvellous journey through the life and achievements of Lee: from a rebellious street fighting child growing up in Kowloon to accomplished Hollywood actor and director and revered kung fu master.

Bruce Lee was born on 27th November 1940, in San Francisco. His father, Lee Hoi-chuen, was a celebrated Cantonese opera actor and his mother, Ho Oi-yee, was a daughter of prominent Hong Kong businessman Ho Kom-tong. Lee was brought back to Hong Kong when he was a newborn. Because of his father's strong connections to the world of show business, Lee first came into contact with cinema when he was an infant, making his silver screen debut as a baby in the Cantonese film "Golden Gate Girl", shot in the US in 1941. Outstanding performances in the films "The Kid" (1950) and "Infancy" (1951) earned him praise as a "genius child actor". He left for the US to pursue his studies in 1959 after finishing a final film in Hong Kong, "The Orphan" (1960).

Lee was passionate about martial arts when he was small. He became a student of the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man at the age of 13. After he went to the US, the lifestyles and world views of Western society became catalysts for his new conception of the philosophy of martial arts. He began teaching Wing Chun when he was studying at Edison Technical School in Seattle, and later, in 1962, he founded his own Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute at a permanent venue. He also named the martial arts system that had been brewing in his mind Jeet Kune Do - a style with no fixed technical movements and no specific forms.

In 1965, Lee was invited by 20th Century Fox to play the role of Kato in the US TV series "The Green Hornet". His agile and skilful kung fu alerted Hong Kong film producers to his talents, and in 1971 he returned to Hong Kong to resume his career and starred in a number of sensational movies, including "The Big Boss" (1971), "Fist of Fury" (1972), "The Way of the Dragon" (1972) and "Enter the Dragon" (1972). His true and hard-hitting kung fu and jaw-dropping nunchaku skills mesmerised audiences. Lee not only took Chinese kung fu films to the international market but also reached the peak of his life and his career. Sadly, he died suddenly during the shooting of his last film, "The Game of Death", on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32.

Occupying a total area of 850 square metres, the "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu • Art • Life" exhibition features more than 600 precious relics related to Bruce Lee on loan from a number of local and overseas collectors, including memorabilia of Lee and his costumes, books and gym equipment, as well as his articles. The exhibition gallery also houses several sets of reconstructions, which were created with ideas inspired by prominent scenes in Lee's five classic kung fu movies as well as his gym and his study. Also featuring a 3D hologram animation on Bruce Lee, a newly created 3.5-metre-high statue of Lee and the 75-minute documentary "The Brilliant Life of Bruce Lee", the exhibition will enable visitors to review Lee's life story based on his profile, his movies, his martial arts and his development as a cultural phenomenon from a more comprehensive, in-depth and independent perspective.


Displays from the Bruce Lee: Kung Fu. Art. Life exhibition

The exhibition will also include a collector series in which the theme will be changed regularly to show the precious collections of different collectors with an aim of introducing the cultural significance and the influence of Bruce Lee through the collectors' eyes. The first exhibition in the collector series will feature more than 100 products related to the TV series "The Green Hornet" provided by internationally acclaimed US collector Perry Lee. Through this collection, visitors will be able to learn more about the first image of Bruce Lee branded by a US enterprise.

To mark the first anniversary of the exhibition, in July 2014 the museum introduce 12 new sets of exhibits and graphic displays to add a new dimension to our appreciation of the life of the iconic kung fu master. These include Lee's own manuscripts analysing his persona (named Lee) in the film "Enter the Dragon" (loaned from the Bruce Lee Foundation), the metal claw designed by Lee as a prop for "Enter the Dragon" (loaned from Hong Kong collector Mr Stanley Zau Chwan-yeu) and a booked titled "Hu Wei San Jie Gun" ("Tiger Tail Three-section Cudgel") from Lee's personal library (loaned from American collector Mr Perry Lee). 

In addition, the main panel at the entrance of the exhibition has been replaced by a new design created by acclaimed Hong Kong computer animator Mr Shannon Ma, which shows Lee's more graceful side. It also offers visitors the chance to be photographed alongside an image of Lee, in which he is wearing sunglasses and a confident smile.


The new main panel at the exhibition entrance, introduced to mark its first anniversary allows visitors to be photographed alongside the star.

To tie in with the five-year exhibition, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum will organise a series of education and extension programmes with different themes which will be carried out in phases. The first phase of activities, under the theme "The Bruce Lee that Hong Kong Knew", will include lectures, sharing sessions and interactive demonstrations to explore the life, career and achievements of Bruce Lee from different perspectives.

To enable the public to obtain more information about "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu • Art • Life" and to enhance their interest in the exhibition, interactive media will be employed along with social media, a dedicated exhibition website and smartphone apps. Members of the public will be able find from the LCSD's newly launched Facebook fan page, "Visit HK Museums" (, a public engagement campaign, directional day tour and exhibition promotional videos, highlights of must-see exhibits, interviews, quotes and the making-of materials for the exhibition.

During the early stage of the exhibition, the museum will arrange viewing sessions and online reservation of tickets for the first two months (from mid-July to mid-September) after the exhibition opens. Visitors can, via email, reserve tickets for a time slot that fits their schedule through the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's online reservation website at Visitors will also be able to purchase tickets at the museum.

Online reservation is being conducted in two phases:

* Phase 1: From 10am on 4th July onwards (for exhibition dates from 20th July to August 19th)

* Phase 2: From 10am on 1st August onwards (for exhibition dates from 20th August to 20th September)

Interested parties will only be allowed to make reservations for a maximum of three viewing sessions and four tickets for each session during each phase of online reservation while the quota lasts. The quota will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As the exhibition is classified as a long-term exhibition of Hong Kong Heritage Museum, visitors will only need to pay the museum's standard admission fees to visit the exhibition without any additional charges. However, visitors will be required to present the special admission slip for viewing the exhibition. Standard admission to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum is HK$10 with a half-price concession available for full-time Hong Kong students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Group tickets at HK$7 each are available to groups of 20 persons or more. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. It is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). The museum is within three minutes walk of Che Kung Temple Station, on MTR Ma On Shan Line.

For further details of the exhibition, see the museum's website; 


Hong Kong International Airport holds a number of concurrent small exhibitions which departing passengers can visit. For details of current exhibitions at the airport see;