CURRENT EXHIBITIONS


(see also: EXHIBITIONS - HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)




MERRY-GO-MOVIES: STAR KIDS (until 3rd November 2013)

Characters played by child stars have been pivotal in Hong Kong cinema and have left many charming and enchanting memories. For many Hong Kong film fans, memories of growing up bring to mind popular child stars from the same eras. Which of the child actors made the most films in the 1950s and '60s and how much were their salaries? With most of their time spent at the studio, did child stars go to school and what was their secret of success? What did they play on the set while waiting to act at the studio? Who was the ultimate cool guy among the child actors? Were the child actors scolded or beaten up when they had to cry in films? Which child actor achieved international fame after growing up?

The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s new retrospective "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids" includes an exhibition, "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids of Hong Kong Cinema in the '50s and '60s". The exhibition is running from 16th August 2013 until 3rd November 2013 at the HKFA's Exhibition Hall, which has been turned into a lovable and cheerful children's playground with precious photos, film clips and interviews of some child stars, including Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai, Yuen Siu-fai, Peter Dunn, Wong Oi-ming, Shek Sau, Tsui Siu-ming, Josephine Siao, Connie Chan Po-chu and Bruce Lee, to offer visitors a chance to reminisce on the stories of child stars both on and off the screen.

The exhibition features classic film scenes and oral history from selected child stars. A small stage with an illustration of old Hong Kong as the background has been decorated with several cut-out figures of the child stars and the public can take photos with them. The exhibition also has a section called "Wiki-KIDDO" with 48 questions on the child stars and their old photos. In addition, the exhibition features a 3-D apple tree with charming childhood photos of 50 child stars, including Paul Chun, David Chiang, Sit Kar-yin, Raymond To, Eddie Lau and others, for the visitors to see the young stars' cute faces. Admission is free.



The "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids of Hong Kong Cinema in the 50s and 60s" exhibition

The screening programme in the retrospective "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids" showcases 30 films featuring 12 child stars from 16th August until 28th September. The opening film of "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids" is "The Great Devotion" (1960), featuring Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai and Wong Oi-ming. Other selected films include "The Seven Kids" (1961), a movie with performances by a number of child stars; "Deep in Love" (1960), featuring Wong Oi-ming and Fung Bo-bo as Patrick Tse's children from different mothers; "Father is Back" (1961), starring the lovely Shek Sau; "Father Takes a Bride" (1963), co-starring Peter Dunn and his brother Paul Dunn; "Nobody's Child" (1960), a newly restored print starring Josephine Siao; "The Scout Master" (1959), starring Connie Chan as a young boy scout; "Homeless Children" (1964), with Tsui Siu-ming; and "Story of Father and Son" (1954), starring the 8-year-old Yuen Siu-fai. Also screening are three great works by the young Bruce Lee, namely "The Kid" (1950), "A Son is Born" (1953) and "An Orphan's Tragedy" (1955), to tie in with the exhibition "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu•Art•Life" organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Lee's passing.



A film still of "The Scout Master" (1959)

Most of the films are in Cantonese and several have Chinese and English subtitles. Tickets are priced at HK$40. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time Hong Kong students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card bookings can be made at (852) 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk .


Hong Kong Film Archive is located at 50 Lei King Road, Sai Wan Ho and can be reached by following tourist direction signs from Sai Wan Ho MTR Station Exit A.

For further information see the HKFA website;

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2013sk/2013sk_index.html

Detailed programme information can also be found in "ProFolio 68" at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For programme enquiries, call (852) 2739 2139 or (852) 2734 2900.






THE SPLENDOURS OF ROYAL COSTUME: QING COURT ATTIRE (until 7th October 2013)

"The Splendours of Royal Costume: Qing Court Attire", the latest large-scale exhibition to be staged at Hong Kong Museum of History, is being held from 31st July 2013 until 7th October 2013. The exhibition not only enables visitors to appreciate up close the costumes of the Qing emperors and their consorts, but also gives the public an opportunity to take in a comprehensive overview of the Qing court costume system.

The exhibition is jointly presented by Hong Kong's Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Palace Museum, and has been organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Palace Museum. Solely sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the exhibition is the second in the 2013 Hong Kong Jockey Club Series after the exhibition "The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia". The new exhibition features more than 130 valuable costumes selected from over 100 000 textile pieces in the Palace Museum's collections, and more than 60 per cent of the exhibits have never been shown outside the Mainland before. Nearly 30 per cent of the items are being displayed for the first time. Under the letter of intent on co-operation signed by the LCSD with the Palace Museum in June last year, the exhibition is another joint venture after the exhibition "A Lofty Retreat from the Red Dust: The Secret Garden of Emperor Qianlong", which was held at the Hong Kong Museum of Art last year. The new exhibition is also the first joint venture between the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Palace Museum.

The costume system of the Qing dynasty was the largest in scale and the most elaborate of all the dynasties' systems. The court attire was the core, as well as the most complicated, of the Qing costume system, and took an important role in the history of Chinese costume. The exhibition offers visitors a rare opportunity to view, from different perspectives, the Qing court attire and the cultural phenomena it showed.

The court attire of the Qing dynasty reflects the highly hierarchical system and the strictness of the imperial court system, as well as how the rigorous system of Qing court attire served to differentiate rank and status in society. The exhibition focuses on the costumes of the emperors and their consorts, including official costumes, which were worn on important ceremonial and sacrificial occasions; festive costumes, which were worn for important festivals and feasts, and during the prelude and conclusion periods of sacrificial events; regular costumes, which were worn on solemn occasions including the Classics Lecture presided over the emperor and festivals during mourning periods; travel costumes, which were worn when making hunting and surveying expeditions, and during battles on horseback; military costumes, which were worn when participating in military events; and leisure costumes, which were worn during leisure time.



Set of armour worn by Emperor Kangxi during his period (1662-1722) when reviewing the grand parade of the eight-banner troops. This set of armour includes the quilted yellow satin armour suit with embroidered dragons, the black lacquered leather helmet with gold and pearl inlays, and the fur tassels for helmet finial

The valuable relics on display include the festive robe of Emperor Shunzhi; the armour and helmet worn by Emperor Kangxi when he inspected the Eight-Banner troops; the court robe of Emperor Qianlong; the Eastern pearl court necklaces worn by the emperor, empress and empress dowager on important ceremonial occasions; the leisure dresses of Empress Dowager Cixi; the matrimonial dragon robes of Emperor Guangxu and his empress; the surcoat of Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing dynasty; and full-size sketches used by the imperial textile manufactories. The fascinating court attire on show illustrates the protocols, patterns and production techniques of Qing court attire, revealing how the Manchu hunting culture, as well as the rituals and traditions of the Central Plain, cast an influence on the designs. The Qing court attire was most impressively expressed in silk and textile products that demonstrated superb standards of workmanship and were exquisitely woven and resplendently decorated, involving elaborate and diverse techniques. As such, every piece is already a beautiful work of art.



Pair of lined light blue satin "flowerpot-heeled" shoes with embroidered floral motifs, and beaded design on soles from Guangxu period (1875-1908). This pair of shoes was worn by an imperial consort of the Qing court

To enhance visitors' knowledge of the costume system of the Qing court, the Hong Kong Museum of History has produced two multimedia programmes entitled "Seasonal Activities of an Emperor" and "Making a New Robe for the Emperor". The former introduces a range of costumes for different seasons and occasions throughout a year for an emperor and an empress. They include the costumes designed for New Year, the Seven Sisters Festival, grand inspections and the paying of homage to heaven. The latter programme describes the process of how an emperor's robe was designed and produced.

To enrich the contents of the exhibition, the Hong Kong Museum of History collaborated with the Hong Kong Design Centre to launch a series of creative art programmes. These have included arranging for design students to work together with the museum designers in designing the exhibition gallery and multimedia programmes. The museum has also partnered with the Institute of Textiles and Clothing of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to organise "Discovering Qing: Fashion Design Competition" using Qing court attire as the theme. The winners' works and other selected works from the competition are on display at the museum's lobby during the exhibition period.

For further details of the exhibition and related educational activities see;

http://hk.history.museum/en_US/web/mh/activities/public-programme.html

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 admission fees for the exhibition are HK$20 (standard ticket) and HK$10 (concession ticket). Half-price concession tickets are available on Wednesdays.







"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 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" (www.facebook.com/VisitHKMuseums), 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 blor.lcsd.gov.hk. 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;

http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/attractions/attractions.aspx

 






MARITIME PORCELAIN ROAD - RELICS FROM GUANGDONG, HONG KONG AND MACAO MUSEUMS (until 16th February 2014)

Chinese porcelain has made an important contribution to the growth of world civilisation and culture. Through maritime trade, Chinese porcelain has been an international bestseller for over a thousand years, and had a significant impact on porcelain development in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Titled "Maritime Porcelain Road - Relics from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Museums", the latest exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of Art runs from 19th July 2013 until 16th February 2014, and studies the importance of Chinese export porcelain, offering visitors an opportunity to learn about its glorious history and development.

Conceived at the 11th Greater Pearl River Delta Cultural Co-operation Meeting, jointly presented by the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province, the Cultural Affairs Bureau, the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government and the Home Affairs Bureau, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Guangdong Museum and the Macao Museum, the exhibition is travelling to Guangzhou, Macau and Hong Kong between 2012 and 2014 with Hong Kong its final stop.

Divided into three sections, the "Maritime Porcelain Road - Relics from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Museums" exhibition presents a study of Chinese export ceramics and explores the role the trade played in the growth of world civilisation. More than 170 sets of exhibits selected from the organisers' collections are featured in the exhibition.

Titled "Country of porcelain", the first section of the exhibition focuses on the growth of Chinese porcelain production in different areas. Production reached its first peak during the Tang and Song dynasties while later on Jingdezhen made significant progress, becoming acclaimed as the Capital of Porcelain during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Significant examples from various regions and kilns are featured in this section.



The "Sevres Teapot with Roses in Enamel on Dotted Blue Ground" made in France in the late 18th century. This relic is on display as part of the exhibition. (Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art)

The second section is titled "Oceanic thoroughfare" and explains why Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau have for centuries played the role of a gateway for Chinese porcelain. Located at the mouth of the Pearl River, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau connect China to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Through valuable relics salvaged from the wreck of the Song ship South China Sea No. 1 and the wreck of the Ming ship Nan'ao No. 1, the exhibition focuses on porcelain manufacturing and how it reflects the aesthetic values and interests of people living at that time. It also looks at China's overseas trade and the culture of porcelain in the southeast coastal areas of China.

The third section of the exhibition is titled "The spread of porcelain art", which introduces how Chinese porcelain influenced the production of porcelain in Asian and European countries. Japanese porcelain art was strongly influenced by Chinese porcelain and during the 17th century Japan imported large quantities of Ming ceramics and porcelain. Japanese kilns produced many imitations and replications of these Chinese imports, achieving a quality as good as any produced at Jingdezhen. In Europe, Chinese porcelain was considered an impressive art form, inspiring many countries to research and replicate the decorative patterns, techniques and formulas in the production of their own ceramics. King Louis XV of France established the Sevres porcelain factory and began to produce rococo style porcelain, elaborately decorated with gold outlines and polychrome enamels, marking the maturation of Western porcelain production. Visitors will be able to view ceramics produced by various Asian and European countries at the exhibition.



The "Blue and White Plate with Design of a Phoenix Facing the Sun", a piece of Jingdezhen ware salvaged from the Ming shipwreck Nan'ao No. 1 (On loan from the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)
 
For further details of the exhibition see the museum's website;

http://hk.art.museum/

Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm daily, and 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Standard admission is HK$10. Full-time Hong Kong students, senior citizens and people with disabilities can enjoy a half-price concession, and a 30 per cent discount is available for groups of 20 people or more (standard rate). Admission is free on Wednesdays.






FASHION. IMAGE. EDDIE LAU (until 13th January 2014)

Eddie Lau's pioneering success in fashion and image design both locally and abroad is such that he is rightly regarded as a modern-day Hong Kong legend.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum is honoured to receive Lau's generous support in donating many of his prized possessions to the museum for public display. To enable the public to appreciate this valuable collection and witness the contribution made by this renowned designer and member of Hong Kong fashion industry' hall of fame, the museum has organised a solo exhibition of Lau's work, titled "Fashion.Image.Eddie Lau" which runs from 17th July 2013 to 13th January 2014. About 70 of Lau' works will go on display, including more than 20 stage costumes specially created for Anita Mui.



The exhibition features haute couture designed by Eddie Lau for celebrities and artistes

Lau went to London in the early 1970s to study fashion design. In 1977, he was invited to take part in the Ready-to-Wear Festival organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council where his designs, branded under his own name, were paraded in the grand finale. The same year he returned to London to join a fashion festival and he subsequently presented his work at overseas fashion shows every year, consolidating his status as an international designer.

"EDDIE LAU" fashion boutiques established by Lau in Hong Kong and Japan and his series of "KAI" fashion collections in collaboration with Chinese Arts and Crafts (HK) Ltd, have proven very popular with buyers and customers alike. He was also the first Hong Kong designer to give solo fashion shows in China, further elevating his status in the fashion industry.

Eddie Lau started out as a tailor's apprentice in Hong Kong in 1962, and despite his official retirement in 1999 Lau never left the profession. He devoted his life to the industry and continued to work until 2012. His career has been inextricably linked with Hong Kong's fashion industry, with which he shared three golden decades from the 1970s to the turn of the century. In almost 50 years as a professional designer he has been invited to design uniforms for worldwide airlines on three occasions, and has also been invited to design haute couture and stage costumes for various celebrities and singers.



Eddie Lau and the uniforms he designed for international airlines

In image design, Lau has worked with numerous artists in the entertainment industry and is also known as the best friend of Cantopop superstar Anita Mui. During Mui's early career Lau designed her outfits, her image on album sleeves and her stage costumes for concerts. Her breathtaking charm was coupled with the unique images designed by Lau. She stayed in the spotlight throughout the 1980s and together created the "ever-changing" image of Anita Mui.

Fashion design, one of Hong Kong's most important creative industries, represents a key area that the Hong Kong Heritage Museum seeks to research and publicise, and the museum is constantly looking to build its collection in this field. Lau is the first major fashion designer to make a large donation, making his works the focal point of the museum's collection. With the comprehensive information provided, the developments, trends and changes in Hong Kong's fashion industry from the 1970s to the present day can be traced, making the collection of enormous benefit to the museum's research efforts.

Divided into two parts - fashion design and image design - the exhibition focuses on fashion and haute couture designed by Lau dating back to 1979 and the numerous concepts of image design he created for the local music industry. Lau has donated a number of Anita Mui's stage costumes as exhibition highlights. Visitors will also be able to discover the behind-the-scenes stories of each of the images created for Mui and get an overview of the pioneering steps - taken by Lau and Mui - that led to the establishment of image design in Hong Kong's music industry. Other exhibits include treasured personal photos and other material dating back to his childhood, as well as sketches, press clippings and video footage recording his achievements, which will enable visitors to gain a fascinating insight into the journey taken by this Hong Kong legend.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum has published an exhibition catalogue for visitors' collections. Aside from illustrating Lau's fashion design, airline uniforms, haute couture and stage costumes, it will allow visitors to review spectacular local fashion designs. Priced at HK$185, the catalogue is now available in the museum's gift shop.

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

http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?exid=208

Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin and located within three minutes' walk from MTR Che Kung Temple Station.  It opens from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is HK$10 and half-price concessions are applicable to full-time Hong Kong students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. The group admission fee is HK$7, applicable to every purchase of 20 tickets or more. Admission is free on Wednesdays.






HONG KONG OBSERVATORY - UNDER THE SAME SKY 130 YEARS (until 2nd September 2013)

To commemorate the 130th anniversary of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), the "Hong Kong Observatory - Under the Same Sky 130 Years" exhibition, co-organised by the HKO and the Hong Kong Government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) opens to the public on 10th July 2013 and runs until 2nd September 2013. The exhibition is being staged in the first floor lobby of the Hong Kong Museum of History, with admission free of charge.

One of the objectives of the exhibition is to look back on the historic weather disasters in Hong Kong which have almost been forgotten by this generation, so as to enhance public awareness and preparedness against such disastrous weather events and to combat climate change. In addition, the exhibition enables members of the public to have a glimpse of the evolution of the wide-ranging people-oriented services developed by the Observatory's staff members in the past 130 years, based on science and innovation, to respond to the ever-changing demands and expectation of the society. Through the exhibits, previously untold stories and bits and pieces of the Observatory could be recollected, and such collective memories could be preserved for the future generations.

During the preparation of the exhibition, staff members of the Observatory and the Museum worked together to gather historical information and make available valuable exhibits from local and overseas museums for showing to the public. The work of the Observatory is closely linked to people's daily lives and is an important partner for all walks of life and every member of the public. The exhibition recalls the important role of the Observatory in more than a century.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Observatory will also invite experts to deliver public talks during the period. In particular, the Director of the Observatory, Mr Shun Chi-ming, will give a talk entitled "When the Observatory's Director Meets Historians" at the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Museum of History, on Saturday 24th August 2013. Details can be found at;

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/History/en_US/web/mh/activities/public-programme-201304_01.html
 


Acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Bobby Cheng, and the Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Shun Chi-ming, officiated at the opening ceremony of the "Hong Kong Observatory - Under the Same Sky 130 Years" exhibition at Hong Kong Museum of History. Photo shows Mr Shun (right) introducing the exhibits to Mr Cheng




WILDLIFE PHOTOG
RAPHER OF THE YEAR (until 1st September 2013)

Living in the concrete jungle, people in Hong Kong don't often get a chance to look at nature close up but locals and tourists alike have the opportunity to see stunning images of wild animals and the natural world at the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" exhibition at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Hong Kong Science Museum.

Running from  1st June 2013 to 1st September 2013, the exhibition showcases 100 winning pictures from the 2012 "Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition" co-organised by the Natural History Museum in London (UK) and BBC Worldwide. Now in its 48th year, this internationally recognised competition showcases the very best in innovative nature photography and highlights important environmental messages.


"Fluff-up", the first runner-up in the Animal Portraits category. Something fluffy and black was squatting in the middle of a snow-covered road. As the photographer drove towards it, he realised it was a raven. This funny looking bird looks as if it has just got out of bed. The raven was most likely taking a moment to warm itself up - raising its feathers helps to trap air under the plumage, creating an extra layer of insulation against the cold. © John Marriott (Canada)

Selected from more than 48 000 images taken by amateur and professional photographers from 98 countries, these striking images are chosen for their aesthetic qualities and also for their extraordinary, often technically amazing and shocking, reflections of events in nature. Each photograph on display includes a photo caption describing the subject and details of how the photograph was taken. Furthermore, to maximise their presentation the photographs will be displayed using duratrans with backlit images, adding an outstanding cinematic dimension to the dramatic wildlife stills.

The exhibition is divided into eight broad sections, namely "Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year", "The Eric Hosking Portfolio Award, The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species, Wildscapes", "The Wildlife Photojournalist Award, Creative Visions, The World in Our Hands", "Underwater Worlds, Nature in Black and White, Animals in Their Environment", "Urban Wildlife, Botanical Realms, Animal Portraits", "Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals, Birds, Mammals", "Young Wildlife Photographers" and "Slide Show".

The title Wildlife Photographer of the Year is given to the photographer whose picture is chosen as the most striking and memorable of all the competition entries. There is also a special category for young photographers aged 17 or under and the winner is given the title the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The Eric Hosking Portfolio Award, named after the pioneering natural history photographer, aims to inspire, reward and empower young photographers aged 18 to 26.

The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species seeks to raise awareness, through photographic excellence, of wildlife in danger of extinction. The photographs are of species critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or near-threatened, as officially listed in the IUCN Red List.

The Wildlife Photojournalist Award is given for a series of six unique images that together tell a memorable story without the need for words. Images are judged on their story-telling power as well as the quality of the individual photographs.

Photographs shown under the category Wildscapes reflect the scale and magnitude of our land, sky and seas, as well as the diverse and breathtaking effects of the natural forces that sculpt these environments.

Creative Visions is a category for conceptual pictures - original and surprising views of nature, whether figurative or abstract - which are judged purely on their artistic merits and execution.

Photographs in The World in Our Hands explore the complex relationship between people and the environment, both constructive and destructive. They can be newsworthy, symbolic or graphic, but should all inspire a greater awareness of how our actions affect the natural world.

The subjects in the Underwater Worlds category are aquatic environments and the marine and freshwater species that inhabit them. Images may be portraits, action shots or wide shots, but must always be photographed under the water.

Nature in Black and White looks for skillful use of the black-and-white medium to enhance a striking composition. Any wild landscape, plant, animal or behaviour can be featured.



"Lookout for lions", a specially commended work in the Nature in Black and White category. The photographer was filming lions when he came across these cheetahs, who were also watching the lions. Once the danger had gone they took up this gloriously relaxed pose, with the curved rocks and clouds forming a lovely symmetry. The photographer used a converted infrared lens, making the sky appear dark and dramatic. © Charlie Hamilton James (UK)

In Animals in Their Environment, photographs must convey a feeling of the relationship between an animal and the place it lives, and have a great sense of atmosphere.

Urban Wildlife highlights nature's occupation of the human-made environment and seeks to capture the magic of the commonplace. Images should be surprising, stirring and revelatory.

Recalling the traditional classification of the botanical kingdom, the category of Botanical Realms features plants, fungi, algae and slime moulds. Images should capture the beauty, mystery, majesty and fragility of the subject, whether in close-up or as part of the wider world.



"Fairy Lake fir", a commended work in the Botanical Realms category. The area around Port Renfrew has been heavily logged, and this miniature Douglas fir growing in the middle of Fairy Lake caught the photographer's eye for its resilience and tenacity. The photographer focused on the tree to exclude the vegetation around the lake, and waited for a mirror-still moment. © Adam Gibbs (Canada)


A good portrait reveals something about its subject beyond the obvious. Photographs in the category of Animal Portraits should all convey a sense of intimacy and capture the personality and spirit of the animal in a fresh and imaginative way.

Photographs in the Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals, Birds, Mammals category must capture memorable, unusual or dramatic behavior of the animals and have interest value as well as visual appeal.

There are three sub-categories in the Young Wildlife Photographers category (17 years old or under). The photographs can show plants or animals, using any of the themes covered by the adult categories, whether portrait, action or landscape.

Hong Kong Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 7pm on weekdays and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is HK$25 with a half-price concession for full-time Hong Kong students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Group tickets at HK$17.5 each are available to groups of 20 persons or more. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Further information about the exhibition can be found at the museum's website;

http://hk.science.museum/ms/wpy/eindex.html







INTELLIGENCE INFINITY: INSPIRATION THROUGH ART (until 23rd September 2013)

With the aim of encouraging children to explore their intelligence through enjoying art, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum has launched its latest exhibition, "Intelligence Infinity: Inspiration through Art". With the playful artworks and interactive art space designed by 16 participating artists, the exhibition encourages kids and parents to develop their creativity through touching the exhibits and creating works with the artists. This is the first time a public museum in Hong Kong has organised an art exhibition that targets a young audience, and it is hoped that this can offer visitors a unique museum experience. The exhibition runs from 12th May 2013 to 23rd September 2013.

"Intelligence Infinity: Inspiration through Art" is an art exhibition designed for children based on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner believes that every child is a potential prodigy in a particular form, which can be presented in multiple formats. Suitable teaching methods can unleash and further develop the abilities of children. He divided the cognitive abilities into eight categories: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic intelligences. Gardner's theory suggests that every person possesses intelligences in different combinations and various stages of development.

Gathering the eight intelligences in 10 specially designed interactive artworks and exhibition spaces, this exhibition provides a platform for children to experience and learn through appreciating and playing in the exhibits to learn about the sense of touch, cognition, social interaction, emotion and other concepts, thereby enjoying the full spectrum of intelligences. Parents can observe and focus their efforts on areas in which their children show potential.



"The Wooden Pallet Playground" by Mr Wong Tin-yan. The artist collected dumped transport pallets and transformed them into a variety of cartoon animal sculptures. In the "The Wooden Pallet Playground", children can freely touch, ride or play with the sculptures and experience the world the artist has created

To gather innovative thoughts, a total of 16 local artists working in a range of different media, from the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, media art, fashion design, graphic design, comics, music, installation and illustration, were invited to create artworks and interactive exhibition spaces. They are Chris Cheung, Cheng Kar-wai, Henry Chu, Steven Chu, Kevin Fung, Lam Mui-ling, Lam Tung-pang, Carol Lee, Lung Heung-wing, Anson Tsang, Kenneth Tse, Pacino Wan, Humphrey Wong, Wong Tin-yan, Leo Yeung and Clement Yick. The exhibits in various formats, which take into account the life experience of children, are showcased in an exciting "playground" with a variety of sensations, and children can unveil their hidden talents on a journey of infinite intelligence.



"Shadow Clones" by Mr Henry Chu. The artwork duplicates, multiplies, enlarges and reduces shadows so that even a slight motion will result in a flock of shadows. By interacting with their shadows, the audience actually interacts with the artist too. In the world the artist creates, everyone can discover their own true self through body movements, and anticipate what will become of them in the next second

To inspire the young audience's curiosity, four architects, Anson Tsang, Kenneth Tse, Steven Chu and Humphrey Wong, have turned the exhibition hall into a scene of a fairy tale. Adults and children are expected to take different paths to view the exhibits. There are areas exclusive for the younger visitors, who can explore and then share their experiences with older visitors.

Graphic designer Clement Yick has provided graphic design for the Parent's Guide Book targeting adults, as well as the Little Captain's Friendly Call pamphlet targeting young visitors. He has created a team of wizards, each representing one type of intelligence. Meanwhile, comic artist Cheng Kar-wai is responsible for a comic centred on interactive pieces by 10 artists, a rare form of exhibit description for junior readers. Made with kids in mind, these playful designs are presented to take young visitors to a new dimension where their spatial intelligence and creativity can be unleashed.

"Intelligence Infinity: Inspiration through Art" is presented by the Hong Kong Government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department and is one of the programmes of "Hip Hong Kong" under the "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign.

For further details see the museum's website;

http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?exid=201

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. The museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is HK$10 and half-price concessions are applicable to full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Group admission fee is HK$7, applicable to every purchase of 20 tickets or more. Free admission for children aged below 4. Admission is free on Wednesdays.






ANTI-JAPANESE WAR HEROES - AN EXHIBITION ON THE HONG KONG INDEPENDENT BATTALION OF THE DONGJIANG COLUMN (until 23rd October 2013)

On December 8th, 1941, Japanese fighter planes launched a surprise attack on Kai Tak Airport while Japanese troops invaded Hong Kong. The then Governor, Sir Mark Young, surrendered on December 25th, and Hong Kong entered a dark period lasting three years and eight months. However, both before and during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, a local guerrilla force, namely the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column, actively and persistently undertook anti-Japanese campaigns and made a great contribution to the war effort.

To commemorate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column this year, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Guangdong Museum of Revolutionary History are jointly presenting an exhibition titled "Anti-Japanese War Heroes - An Exhibition on the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column". On display at the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence from 26th April 2013 until 23rd October 2013, the exhibition features some 60 historic artefacts and pictures, enabling visitors to learn about the history of this local battalion and its contribution to defending the homeland.



Binoculars used by the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column

When faced with the Japanese attack, many volunteers came forth to participate in anti-Japanese activities. The 3rd and 5th Companies of the Guangdong People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Force, the precursor to the Dongjiang Column, were sent to Hong Kong and launched guerrilla attacks against the Japanese in the New Territories and Kowloon. At the same time, the guerrilla forces called for local volunteers to help defend the country.

On February 3rd 1942, the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Guangdong People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Force, which included many volunteers and young intellectuals, declared its establishment in the chapel at Wong Mo Ying Sai Kung (now Rosary Mission Church). Tsoi Kwok-leung became captain of the Battalion, leading the near 1 000-strong force. On December 2nd 1943, the Central Committee of the Communist Party formally proclaimed the founding of the Dongjiang Column of the Guangdong People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Force. Tsang Sang was made Commander and Lin Ping (Yin Linping) became Political Commissar. The Hong Kong Independent Battalion thus became an official sub-unit of the Dongjiang Column - an armed force that doggedly resisted the Japanese army in Hong Kong.

In addition to fighting the Japanese, the battalion also shouldered responsibility for rescuing important persons trapped in Hong Kong and protected them from being captured by the Japanese. Twelve rescue routes were involved in such operations, which eventually delivered more than 800 people to safety outside Hong Kong. These included He Xiangning, Liao Chengzhi, Liu Yazi, Zou Taofen, Mao Dun, Situ Huimin, Tang Man-chiu and many more.

Allied soldiers were also rescued, such as the American pilot Lieutenant Donald W Kerr. Additionally, the guerrillas helped the British Army Aid Group (BAAG) and supported each other by providing intelligence information.

In commemoration, local people erected the Monuments for Martyrs Against Japanese Militarism in Wu Kau Tang, Tai Po and Sai Kung, paying homage to the great contribution made by the battalion, as well as organising remembrance ceremonies and related events. In 1998, the former Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa placed a Dongjiang Column Roll of Honour in the memorial shrine at Hong Kong City Hall for the public to pay their respects, and to recognise the battalion's important place in Hong Kong history. The shrine also enables the younger generations to learn more about these soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in defence of Hong Kong.



A silk banner bearing the Chinese words "Loyalty, Courage, Honesty and Love" presented to Sai Kung residents by the British Army representative General Ritchie in April 1947, in recognition of assistance given by local villagers to Allied forces during the war

The exhibition depicts the history of the battalion and includes many touching stories about the guerrillas. Many artefacts on display are closely related to the battalion, including weapons and daily items used by the guerrillas during the war.

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is located at 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong. It is open from 10am to 6pm and is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays and closes at 5pm in October). Admission is HK$10 and half-price concessions are applicable to full-time Hong Kong students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Group admission fee is HK$7, applicable to every purchase of 20 tickets or more. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Website;

http://hk.coastaldefence.museum







A HUNDRED CHINESE PAINTINGS FROM THE HONG KONG MUSEUM OF ART (until 30th October 2013)

Owing to Hong Kong's cultural and geographical proximity to Guangdong, the Hong Kong Museum of Art has made collecting works and artefacts from this region a priority. In its collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy, the Hong Kong Museum of Art houses a great number of Guangdong works and modern Chinese paintings. In order to show the cream of its Chinese painting collection, the Hong Kong Museum of Art is running an exhibition, "A Hundred Chinese Paintings from the Hong Kong Museum of Art", from 22nd March 2013 to 30th October 2013. Through the finely selected 100 Chinese paintings, dating from the late Ming dynasty to the present, the exhibition aims to present a picture of the evolution of Chinese paintings, from the traditional to the modern, and to demonstrate the significance of the museum's collection.

Guangdong painting has experienced various changes and innovations throughout its history, and this evolution has marked its significance in Chinese painting. Since the first acquisition of a landscape painting by Liang Yuwei of the Qing dynasty in 1966, the museum has established a sizeable art collection of more than 5,800 Chinese paintings and calligraphy works dating from the early Ming dynasty to the 21st century through acquisition and generous donations.

To highlight the development of Chinese painting over its history, the exhibition is structured into five sections, each centred on a specific style developed in a particular period. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to learn about the works, unique styles and techniques of the great masters in Chinese painting, such as Zhang Mu, Su Renshan, Ju Chao, Ju Lian, Gao Jianfu, Gao Qifeng, He Qiyuan, Zhao Shao'ang, Yang Shanshen, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian, Li Keran, Wu Guanzhong, Shi Hu, Hu Yongkai, Lu Fusheng, Li Yanshan, Huang Bore, Zhang Daqian, Huang Yongyu, Ding Yanyong and Lü Shoukun.



The painting "Autumn Landscape" by Lin Fengmian (1900-1991)

Zhang Mu, Li Jian, Liang Yuwei, Su Liupeng and Su Renshan are the early Guangdong artists whose innovation in creation developed a new dimension for Guangdong landscape painting. In later years, the brothers Ju Chao and Ju Lian became the forerunners of the Lingnan school of paintings with their groundbreaking techniques, which marked a milestone in Chinese painting history. Among others, the "Three Masters of the Lingnan School" - Gao Jianfu, Gao Qifeng and Chen Shuren, as well as their students - were a group of pioneers who adopted Western perspective in traditional Chinese paintings. In addition, a number of Guangdong painters were members of the Chinese Painting Research Society, including Pan He and Yao Lixiu, who advocated the revitalisation of the Chinese painting tradition and reform of Chinese painting, with their views exerting great impact in art circles at the time.

Since the 20th century, particularly after the founding of the People's Republic of China, contemporary Chinese painting has turned over a new leaf. Artists throughout the country such as Qi Baishi, Huang Binhong, Xu Beihong, Pan Tianshou, Lin Fengmian, Li Keran and Lu Yanshao, as well as some contemporary artists like Wu Guanzhong, all sought to break away from traditional styles of painting under the influence of Western ideas. Either adapting Western techniques, or making innovative moves with reference to traditional methods, these artists have all contributed to the diversity of the painting styles of the time.



One of the paintings in the "Scenes of Mount Huang" album (1938) by Huang Binhong

After the mid-1980s, the "New Literati Paintings" emerged in the tide of "Cultural Revival". A group of young Chinese painters who had experienced the Cultural Revolution including Shi Hu, Hu Yongkai, Nie Ou and Lu Fusheng developed a unique art scene at the time and the influence still echoes today.

With its special historical background, Hong Kong has been a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, which placed a tremendous influence on Chinese painting. After the 1950s, Hong Kong became a meeting place for artists from different parts of China. Those who inherited and preserved the traditions of Guangdong such as Li Yanshan, Huang Bore and followers of the Lingnan school of painting including He Qiyuan, Zhao Shao'ang, Yang Shanshen and others, as well as talented artists like Peng Ximing, Zhang Daqian and Huang Yongyu. Meanwhile, artists like Ding Yanyong, Lü Shoukun and Liu Guosong have created their accomplished personal styles with the urbanisation of Hong Kong, and also gave rise to the New Ink Painting Movement.

Visitors to this exhibition are able to explore the evolution of Chinese painting and trace its history.

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 students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.







CROSSING THE HARBOUR: AN EXHIBITION OF ARCHIVAL HOLDINGS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF CROSS-HARBOUR TRANSPORT (expected to run until December 2013)

The Public Records Office (PRO) of the Hong Kong Government Records Service (GRS) is presenting "Crossing the Harbour: An exhibition of archival holdings on the development of cross-harbour transport" on the second floor of the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Public Records Building, 13 Tsui Ping Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon. The exhibition will be on display to the public from 17th December 2012 and is expected to run for about twelve months. Admission is free.

Crossing the harbour today for work or social gatherings seems to be part of a daily routine, to which Hong Kongers give little thought. There are many convenient ways to make the crossing, whether above or below the water. But in the 19th and early 20th centuries the only options were by boat or ferry. It was not until the 1970s that people could enjoy the convenience of the Cross Harbour Tunnel, and later of the other tunnels and the Mass Transit Railway (MTR).

This exhibition uses archival records, photographs, maps, plans and films kept in the PRO of the GRS to give you snapshots of the development of cross-harbour transport between 1860s and 1970s. Through the display of about 50 exhibits with the use of archival records, photographs, maps, plans and videos, it reviews the development of Kowloon Peninsula, the demand for cross harbour transportation and the development of cross-harbour transport from 1860s to 1970s. The exhibition displays some valuable holdings including a lease and map of Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island, a layout plan of the proposed design of the cross-harbour bridge, a plan of proposed routes of MTR, and more.

The Hong Kong Vehicular Ferry Pier, 1959

To complement the onsite exhibition, an online Reference Resource Page has been developed. It consists of three parts, namely Timeline, Image Gallery and Reference List. These are useful education resources for studying subjects such as liberal studies, history and civic education. Further information and the Resources Reference Page can be accessed at;

http://www.grs.gov.hk/ws/online/cross_harbour/index.html

Guided tours for group visits will be provided on a request basis. For information regarding reservations for the guided tour or about the exhibition, please contact Mr Bernard Hui, Senior Assistant Archivist of the PRO of the GRS (Tel : 852 2195 7728).




20/20: SPECIAL EXHIBITION FOR THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF XUBAIZHEI GALLERY (until 30th September 2013)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the inauguration of the Xubaizhai Gallery of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. To commemorate Low Chuck-tiew's munificent gesture in donating his considerable collection - the Xubaizhai Collection - to a public museum as part of its permanent collection, the Hong Kong Museum of Art has selected representative works by 20 great masters from the collection for exhibition, offering the public an opportunity to appreciate these fabulous works while also promoting the art of Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Entitled "20/20: Special Exhibition for the Twentieth Anniversary of Xubaizhai Gallery", the exhibition runs from 26th September 2012 until 30th September 2013 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The exhibition features 34 works by great masters, including "The pagoda of Changgan Monastery" by Shitao, "Landscapes after old masters" by Wang Hui, "Landscapes and calligraphy in running script" by Dong Qichang, "Cooling off the hot summer" by Wen Zhengming, "Landscape after Wang Fu" by Hongren, "Farewell by a stream at the end of the year" by Shen Zhou, "Returning home with a qin" by Tang Yin, and "Landscape in the style of Huang Gongwang" by Wang Shimin. A painting by Low is also on display. Visitors will not only be able to view various artworks alongside historical records of their circulation, but will also get a glimpse of Low's preferences and connoisseurship as a collector.

"The pagoda of Changgan Monastery" by Shitao, currently on display at the "20/20: Special Exhibition for the Twentieth Anniversary of Xubaizhai Gallery"

Hong Kong played an important role in the art market during the mid-20th century, a period when important historical and political changes were taking place within China. Artefacts from all parts of the Mainland found their way to Hong Kong for sale, offering golden opportunities for private collectors. Among them was Low, a Singaporean Chinese who established the Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy.

The Xubaizhai Collection includes over 600 Chinese painting and calligraphy pieces encompassing work dating from the Northern Dynasties (386–581) through to the 20th century, and is particularly strong in works by masters of the major schools of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. In the 1970s and 80s, many international scholars, connoisseurs and museum professionals were drawn to appreciate the collection, making for a considerable cultural phenomenon in Hong Kong at that time. After years of planning, Low decided to donate his Xubaizhai Collection to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, a move that attracted great attention in the international art circle. In tribute, the museum built the Xubaizhai Gallery to exhibit a rotating permanent display of this remarkable collection. The gallery was officially opened on 26th September 1992. Since then, the museum has regularly organised thematic exhibitions to promote appreciation of Chinese painting and calligraphy.

The selected works featured at this exhibition all have their own story, including "The pagoda of Changgan Monastery" by Shitao, which Low probably regarded as the most significant item in the Xubaizhai Collection. During the difficult days of World War II, Low bought this painting from a Singaporean merchant, Choo Kwok Leong, for 2,800 British Settlement dollars. In an Allied air raid during the later years of the war, Low's residence was engulfed in flames and Low risked his life to save the painting from being burnt to ashes. This was to be the only surviving item of Low's early collection. Having travelled from Singapore to Hong Kong, "The pagoda of Changgan Monastery" not only serves as a cornerstone of the Xubaizhai Collection, but is also a witness to the century-long diasporic history of revered works of Chinese painting and calligraphy.

"Landscapes after old masters" by Wang Hui

The "Landscape after Wang Fu", a landscape fan painted by Hongren, has been called "the thousand-dollar fan". This painting caught the attention of a cultural celebrity, Huang Miaozi, when he saw Low's collection in the 1980s. In the early years of Republican China, someone was said to have spent 1,000 da yang (silver coin) to acquire the painting, thus earning it the nickname of "the thousand-dollar fan" among connoisseurs in Guangdong. It is not known who the purchaser may have been, but the painting was eventually acquired for the Xubaizhai Collection, and visitors now have a valuable opportunity to view it at the exhibition.

Low once studied painting under Huang Binhong when he was in Shanghai. Under the Huang's guidance, Low not only developed an interest in connoisseurship and authentication, but also loved to paint. One of Low's works, "Landscapes", is included in the exhibition.

Hong Kong Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. From 1st October 2012 onwards, the museum's opening hours will be changed to 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and 10am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is HK$10 and a half-price concession is available for full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For further information see the museum's website;

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Arts/en/exhibitions/exhibitions01_jul12_02.html




THE HEAVENLY BREEZE: SELECTED WORKS OF GAO QIFENG AND HIS DISCIPLES (until 26th August 2013)

Hong Kong Heritage Museum has launched an exhibition, "The Heavenly Breeze: Selected Works of Gao Qifeng and His Disciples", which features works created by Gao Qifeng, one of the founders of the Lingnan school of painting, and his disciples.

The exhibition, which runs from 18th April 2012 until 26th August 2013, showcases about 30 works selected from the collections of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art, as well as the works provided by the family of Chao Shao-an, a disciple of Gao. Featuring Gao and the "Tianfeng Seven", the most outstanding seven disciples of Gao, the exhibition gives visitors a glimpse of the early development of the Lingnan school and the achievements made by Gao and his disciples.


"White Horse", created by Gao Qifeng before 1931. Gao used the quiet and relaxed white horse to convey an attitude of ease

Gao Qifeng had an early start with painting under the tutorship of his elder brother Gao Jianfu. In 1907, the two brothers travelled to Japan to further their study of painting. Gao Qifeng's sojourn in Japan brought him into contact with Western realist paintings and techniques like perspective drawing. The encounter proved to be eye-opening and influential, particularly in shaping his aesthetic principle of "mingling the East and the West, the old and the new". He channelled his creativity through this approach in a way to energise and revolutionise the Lingnan art scene.

Birds, animals, flowers and landscapes are the recurring themes of Gao's works, while colour choice and ink rendering showcase the strengths of the artist's skills. His artistic interpretation remains true to realism and is marked by robust and nimble brushstrokes, which in his later works become increasingly powerful. Stricken with lung problems at a young age, Gao retreated to Ersha Island, Guangzhou, in 1929. He built a new residence there named the Tianfeng (Heavenly Breeze) Studio and continued to paint and discuss art with his disciples. In 1933 he was appointed by the national government as a representative for the Chinese Art Exhibition in Berlin, Germany. He was hit by the chronic illness again when attending the preparation meeting in Shanghai and passed away on November 2, 1933.


"Landscape in Guilin", created by Chao Shao-an in 1945. When he retreated to the southwest during wartime, Chao travelled past Guilin and was stunned by the magnificent landscape. The scenery of Guilin became a lasting inspiration and the subject was repeated in many of his later works after the war

Gao put as much effort as possible into promoting art and thus attracted a number of followers despite his short 45-year life. He taught painting at the Tianfeng Studio, where his most outstanding disciples including Chao Shao-an and six other artists emerged. They became known as the Tianfeng Seven, and their close relationship frequently saw them organise exhibitions and work on paintings together, and they also set up art societies and taught painting to perpetuate their art. There is no denying their influence in developing and promoting the Lingnan school of painting.

The Tianfeng Seven are Zhou Yifeng (1890-1982), Zhang Kunyi (1895-1967), Ye Shaobing (1896-1968), He Qiyuan (1899-1970), Huang Shaoqiang (1901-1942), Rong Shushi (1903-1996) and Chao Shao-an (1905-1998).

Each of the seven disciples excelled in different ways. While Zhou Yifeng was skilled in traditional painting, He Qiyuan was adept at blending the styles of the East and the West. Having a close relationship with Gao, Zhang Kunyi mastered the depiction of flowers and birds in a way to stay truthful to the spirit of Gao's style. Huang Shaoqiang was the best portrait painter and was greatly concerned about the suffering of ordinary people. His paintings are always marked by a strong sense of compassion. Ye Shaobing's strength lay in artistic theory. In comparison with the others, Rong Shushi kept a low profile throughout his life. At the age of 16, Chao Shao-an attended Gao's art studio and it marked the turning point in Chao's artistic path and laid the foundation of his future achievement.

Further details of the exhibition are available on the Hong Kong Heritage Museum website at;

www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/eng/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?exid=187

Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. It is open from 10am to 6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays to Saturdays, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (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.