Last Chance to see ten National Treasures in the Hong Kong Palace Museum’s Special Exhibition through 7th October


7th September 2022 – (Hong Kong) Since the grand opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) on 3rd July, its opening exhibition titled “The Making of Masterpieces: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Palace Museum” has received overwhelming responses from the public. The Museum is delighted to present the last rotation of this exhibition from today through 7th October, featuring ten national treasures of Chinese painting and calligraphy. After the exhibition closes, these treasures will be returned to the Palace Museum and put in storage for a rest period of at least three years before they can be exhibited again. This is a rare, not-to-be-missed opportunity to view these treasures in person.

The masterpieces featured here include the famous painting Nymph of the Luo River (a Southern Song dynasty copy) attributed to the prestigious Eastern Jin dynasty painter Gu Kaizhi (346–407);  Biography of Zhang Han in Running-Regular Script (a Tang dynasty copy), a calligraphic work by one of the famed Tang calligraphers Ouyang Xun (557–641); and Female Immortals in Elysium, the only authentic extant work by the Five Dynasties painter Ruan Gao (active 10th century). Other highlights are Illustrations to The Book of Songs: Songs Beginning with “Deer Call”by Ma Hezhi (active 12th century), a highly regarded painter in the Southern Song dynasty; and the rare monumental painting Hawk on a Maple Tree Eyeing a Pheasant by Li Di (active 12th century) of the Southern Song dynasty. Another spectacular work is Viewing the Tidal Bore on the Qiantang River by the southern Song court painter Li Song (1166–1243), one of the earliest surviving paintings to capture the spectacular Qiantang River tidal bore.

The painting Viewing the Tidal Bore on the Qiantang River tells a fascinating story about Hong Kong’s contribution to the protection of national treasures of painting and calligraphy as well as the connection between Hong Kong and the Palace Museum. Before this precious work entered the collection of the Palace Museum, it was acquired in Hong Kong in the 1950s by the “Hong Kong Secret Acquisition Team of Cultural Relics”, which was established by the Chinese government to rescue dispersed national treasures.

Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the Palace Museum, “The Making of Masterpieces”exhibition features 35 important paintings and calligraphic works from the Jin, Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties. All the works are grade-one national treasures, some of which are over 1,000 years of age. A few works are the only surviving example of certain artists. The exhibition in Gallery 8 comprises three rotations, with each lasting about one month in order to better protect these fragile works. 

After this exhibition closes, the Hong Kong Palace Museum will present “Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein”, the Museum’s first major special exhibition after its opening season. This is the first time that the priceless treasures in the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein will be displayed in Hong Kong. The crown jewels of the exhibits are masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), two of the most distinguished seventeenth-century European painters of the Baroque period. Other significant works include sculptures, ceramics, tapestry, and furniture. Visitors can understand the European princely family’s art collecting interest as well as their lifestyles from these exquisite artworks. This exhibition also highlights the influence of Chinese art in the art collecting practices of the Princes of Liechtenstein. It emphasises the positioning of the Hong Kong Palace Museum as an important platform for cultural exchange between China and the world. The exhibition is expected to open in early November this year. More details about the exhibition and the ticketing arrangements will be announced soon.

Details of the works in the third rotation of “The Making of Masterpieces: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Palace Museum” in Gallery 8 are listed below:

The Third Rotation: 7th September 2022 to 7th October 2022
1Xie An (320–385)Death of a Palace Attendant in Running Script (Song copy)
2Gu Kaizhi (346–407)Nymph of the Luo River (Southern Song copy)
3Ouyang Xun (557–641)Biography of Zhang Han in Running-Regular Script (Tang copy)
4Ruan Gao (active 10th century)Female Immortals in Elysium
5Ma Hezhi (active 12th century)Illustrations to The Book of Songs: Songs Beginning with “Deer Call”
6Li Di (active 12th century)Hawk on a Maple Tree Eyeing a Pheasant
7Li Song (1166–1243)Viewing the Tidal Bore on the Qiantang River
8Guan Daosheng (1262–1319)Late Autumn in Running Script (calligraphy by Zhao Mengfu)
9Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322), Huang Gongwang (1269–1354), Xu Ben (1335–1380)Calligraphy and Painting of Timely Clearing after Snowfall
10Wu Zhen (1280–1354)Fisherman