14th July 2022 – (Hong Kong) An exhibition featuring a selection of compelling masterpieces by Italian Baroque painters from the valuable collection of the Capodimonte Museum, Italy, “The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: The Road to the Baroque – Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum”, will be open to the public starting from tomorrow at the Hong Kong Museum of Art (HKMoA), enabling visitors to experience the charm and magnificence of Baroque art from the 17th century.
Originating in Italy, Baroque is another important period in the Western art history after the Renaissance. Characterised by the dramatic contrast of light and dark, exaggerated movement and pronounced figures’ facial expressions, historians coined the term “Baroque” to define the 17th century Italian art which focuses on high tension and realistic representations of emotions. Baroque artists were arguably the originators of immersive experiences. Their paintings are compelling and strikingly real, often immersing the audience in the scene.
The Capodimonte Museum in Naples, Italy, is one of the largest and most famous museums in Italy, with over 1 million attendants per year. The museum is famous for some of the finest collections of Italian paintings in the world. Collaborating with the HKMoA, this is the Capodimonte Museum’s debut exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition features 40 late Renaissance works from northern and central Italy, and Neapolitan Baroque masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum that have never been shown in Hong Kong. These works come from the two major nuclei – the Farnese Collection and the Bourbon Collection of the museum. The showcase includes religion, saints, mythology, still life and landscape paintings of legendary masters, such as Titian, Annibale Carracci and Artemisia Gentileschi, to present the stylistic characteristics and artistic accomplishments of Italian Neapolitan art in the 16th and 17th centuries. This exhibition is also the largest scale Baroque exhibition in Hong Kong in recent years.
To complement the exhibition, the Associate Vice-President (Interdisciplinary Research) and the Founding Dean of the School of Creative Arts of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Professor Johnny Poon, designed Baroque music and soundscapes for selected exhibits. These aural elements add a new dimension to art appreciation and help open the door to Baroque art. The HKMoA has also invited three local artists to provide artistic responses with various creative media to the works of the Baroque masters. Their efforts have enriched the exhibition with a Hong Kong perspective, allowing the audience to enjoy an art experience that connects the past and the present.
New media artist Kingsley Ng draws inspiration from the Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi’s autobiographical painting and juxtaposes Galileo Galilei’s laws of the pendulum with dramatic Baroque chiaroscuro to express the impact of modern science on Baroque art. In this immersive space, the audience can feel the tension between light and shadow, and stillness and movement. Visual artist Chow Chun-fai reinterprets Baroque characters with photography installations, introducing elements of local culture to Baroque art for a dazzling fusion of East and West, and the past and present. With great imagination, illustrator missquai works with the HKMoA curatorial team to present some of the tales, significance and techniques of the Baroque period through stories and games. The illustrations provide the audience with a fun-packed journey through art.
The exhibition is one of the programmes for the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It will run from 15th July to 2nd November at the Special Gallery on the second floor of the HKMoA (10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon).
The exhibition is under the exclusive sponsorship of the HKJC, and is one of the many initiatives supported by the HKJC’s approved donation of $630 million to the HKSAR Government to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, demonstrating that the HKJC is resolute in pursuing its purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of society, all in support of creating stronger communities together.
The exhibition is jointly presented by the LCSD and the MiC – Italian Ministry of Culture, and jointly organised by the HKMoA and the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte. In collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong, the exhibition is also supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong and is a programme of “Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism” and “Italia Mia”.
The LCSD will also present the Baroque Music Lecture Series “Bach & Beyond” from August to October, to be hosted by local music critic William Ting, offering audiences an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the art of Johann Sebastian Bach, dubbed “the father of classical music”, from multiple perspectives.
In order to comply with the requirements stipulated in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, visitors are required to scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” venue QR code with their mobile phones/other mobile devices before being allowed to enter the museum for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. In accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, all persons entering indoor venues under the management of the LCSD must comply with the relevant requirements of the Vaccine Pass.