Hong Kong Heritage Museum to showcase over 100 artefacts of ancient Chinese women from Nanjing Museum starting tomorrow

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Photo shows grade-one national treasure, Qing dynasty handscroll "Ancient court ladies at leisure", which depicts the lives of noble ladies in the court.

29th November 2022 – (Hong Kong)  “The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Women and Femininity in Ancient China – Treasures from the Nanjing Museum” exhibition will be open to the public starting from tomorrow at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (HKHM). The selected exquisite artefacts from the Nanjing Museum include the daily necessities and accessories of ancient Chinese women; the embroidery, paintings and artefacts created by talented ancient women; as well as paintings depicting women by famous literati in the past. Visitors can learn more about the fashionable demeanour, wisdom and lifestyle of ancient Chinese women through the exhibition.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held today. Addressing the ceremony, the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung, said that the exhibition had showcased 118 selected exquisite artefacts from the Nanjing Museum. It was very rare to have 21 grade-one national treasures to be displayed in Hong Kong for the first time. These exhibits spanning across several dynasties and covering many aspects of daily life showcased the virtue, beauty and wisdom of ancient Chinese women. Through appreciating the rich and diversified lifestyles of ancient Chinese women, visitors could gain insights into the developments of Chinese society. The national treasures had been interpreted with a new mindset in this exhibition, making a comparison between the images of ancient and modern women to create a dialogue and inspire visitors to think and understand more about Chinese culture.

The exhibition is composed of four parts. The first part surrounds the change of fashions in hair styles, make-up and clothing of ancient women. The second part focuses on the daily living necessities and accessories to enable visitors to explore the experience of women in different social classes. The third part is a collection of paintings, embroideries and artefacts created by talented ancient Chinese women in different dynasties which demonstrates their talent and ingenuity. The fourth part is paintings of women by artists which allow visitors to explore the stories of these legendary women.

Photo shows a golden court crown decorated with a gemstone worn by a Qing dynasty noblewoman, who was awarded an aristocratic title, on formal occasions, which is a grade-one national treasure.
 Photo shows an interactive installation inside the exhibition gallery, enabling visitors to mix and match the hairstyles, accessories and make-up of ancient women.
Photo shows a multimedia display at the entrance of the exhibition gallery.

Highlight exhibits include a grade-one national treasure, a 13-metre-long Qing dynasty handscroll “Ancient court ladies at leisure”. This silk painting guides viewers through more than 20 activity sites, such as bamboo forests, gardens, corridors and terraces, showcasing the variety of leisure activities of ancient women. The painting is like a pictorial guide to ancient entertainment. Other not-to-be-missed exhibits include the painting “Li Duanduan” by Tang Yin, one of the four painting masters of the Ming dynasty, which tells the story of Tang poet Cui Ya and the famous courtesan Li Duanduan; “Lady holding a fan” hanging scroll by famous Shanghai School painter Ren Xiong in the late Qing dynasty showing the beauty of an ancient lady; “Flowers and butterflies” hanging scroll created by female painter Ma Quan in the Qing dynasty; a golden court crown decorated with a gemstone worn by a Qing dynasty noblewoman, who was awarded an aristocratic title, on formal occasions; and the embroidery “American actress – Beecher”, a classic work created by the “needle sage”, the late Qing dynasty embroidery master Shen Shou.

The HKHM has specifically created the session of “Women of Our City” to respond to the exhibition. Through sharing the fascinating stories of four incredible and inspiring Hong Kong women, namely eminent image director Tina Liu; world-renowned cyclist Sarah Lee; radio host Bonnie Wong (Ah Jeng); and probationary fire station officer Scarlett Yiu, and showcasing the museum collections of pop culture, visitors can explore the images of contemporary females in Hong Kong.

“The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Women and Femininity in Ancient China – Treasures from the Nanjing Museum” exhibition is one of the programmes celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It will run from 30th November, 2022, to 27th February, 2023, at the HKHM (1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin). For details of the exhibition and the admission arrangements, please visit the website at www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/en_US/web/hm/exhibitions/data/exid274.html or call 2180 8188 for enquiries.

The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Nanjing Museum, jointly organised by the HKHM and the Nanjing Museum, and under the exclusive sponsorship of the HKJC. It 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.

 In order to comply with 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 museums under the management of the LCSD. In accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, members of the public entering indoor venues under the management of the LCSD must comply with the relevant requirements of the Vaccine Pass. According to the current requirement on the Vaccine Pass, all persons with their Vaccine Pass QR codes displayed in red are not allowed to enter museums under the management of the LCSD while patrons holding amber codes are allowed to enter the premises with valid Vaccine Pass.

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