Ex­hi­bi­tions help forge closer cul­tural links be­tween HK and main­land

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By WANG KAI­HAO in Hong Kong

The on­go­ing ex­hi­bi­tion on the Hall of Men­tal Cul­ti­va­tion in Hong Kong is just one sign of the deep­en­ing links be­tween the Palace Mu­seum in Bei­jing and Hong Kong.

Sep­a­rately, an­other ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion on Chi­nese royal rit­u­als, Longevity and Virtues: Birth­day Cel­e­bra­tions of the Qing Em­per­ors and Em­press Dowa­gers, is on at the Hong Kong Mu­seum of History.

And in a re­lated development, the Hong Kong Palace Mu­seum, to be set up in the West Kowloon Cul­tural Dis­trict, will be­come a per­ma­nent venue to dis­play Chi­nese royal trea­sures in 2022.

In 2012, Bei­jing’s Palace Mu­seum signed an agree­ment with Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cul­tural Ser­vices Depart­ment to reg­u­larly hold ex­hi­bi­tions in Hong Kong.

Ex­hi­bi­tions from Bei­jing have typ­i­cally done very well in Hong Kong, and ac­cord­ing to LCSD sta­tis­tics, the four con­cluded ex­hi­bi­tions, which were brought to Hong Kong by the Palace Mu­seum since then, at­tracted half a mil­lion vis­i­tors.

“Hong Kong is an in­ter­na­tional cul­tural me­trop­o­lis with a dis­tinct iden­tity grounded in Chi­nese tra­di­tion,” says Che­ung Kin-chung, the chief sec­re­tary for ad­min­is­tra­tion in Hong Kong.

“By pre­sent­ing the in­valu­able col­lec­tions of the Palace Mu­seum and its rich history, these highly ac­claimed ex­hi­bi­tions have strength­ened our cul­tural ties.”

Tam Mei-yee, di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong Mu­seum of Art, says the events make Hong Kong a plat­form for the Palace Mu­seum ar­ti­facts to make their global de­but.

Con­nec­tions be­tween the Bei­jing Palace Mu­seum and Hong Kong can be traced back to the time when Hong Kong phi­lan­thropist Ron­nie Chan helped the Bei­jing mu­seum re­con­struct the Jianfu­gong Gar­den, which was burned down in 1923.

Chan then con­tin­ued to spon­sor other ren­o­va­tions within the For­bid­den City.

For the on­go­ing ren­o­va­tion of the Hall of Men­tal Cul­ti­va­tion, his fund has do­nated 100 mil­lion yuan ($14.8 mil­lion), and this was fol­lowed by do­na­tions by other phi­lan­thropists from Hong Kong.

Other or­ga­ni­za­tions in Hong Kong are also link­ing up with the Bei­jing Palace Mu­seum.

For ex­am­ple, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Char­i­ties Trust is a reg- ular spon­sor of the Bei­jing mu­seum’s ex­hi­bi­tions.

The Bei­jing Palace Mu­seum, be­sides in­tro­duc­ing cul­tural relics to Hong Kong, is also help­ing it boost its global cul­tural links.

Last week, a two-day sum­mit co-or­ga­nized by the LCSD and the Bei­jing Palace Mu­seum was held in Hong Kong. It was Hong Kong’s first such sum­mit.

Che­ung says: “With our unique ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tion as a cul­tural hub where East meets West, Hong Kong is com­mit­ted to as­sum­ing the role of su­per con­nec­tor by act­ing as a plat­form for pro­fes­sional ex­changes among over­seas mu­se­ums and in­sti­tu­tions on her­itage con­ser­va­tion and mu­seum prac­tices.”

HONG SHAOKUI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Mem­bers from the Hong Kong Mu­seum of History open a scroll of an­cient paint­ing for the ex­hi­bi­tion, Longevity and Virtues: Birth­day Cel­e­bra­tions of the Qing Em­per­ors and Em­press Dowa­gers.

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