Poly Culture Group Unveils Rare Chinese Artifacts at New Art Gallery in Vancouver
VANCOUVER– China’s leading arts and culture institute, the Poly Culture Group, opened the doors of its flagship art gallery in November 2016 with the hopes of transforming downtown Vancouver into a centre for international art and cultural exchange.
Poly Art Gallery’s inaugural installation, valued at more than $60 million USD, features more than 40 rare artifacts and antiques from the Qianlong period, including priceless pieces of jade, porcelain and a gilt bronze elephant musical clock made by a clock master in London. Cultural achievements in China flourished during the Qianlong period.
“The Antiques of the Qianlong Period: A Mirror Reflecting a Chinese Emperor’s Attitudes to the Past and the West” collection also includes four bronze-cast animal heads depicting a monkey, ox, pig and tiger from China’s famed old Summer Palace. The animal heads were part of a collection that represented the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. This marks the first time these pieces
have left China since they were repatriated from Western collections.
“This historic art installation … marks the beginning of a rich cultural exchange that will enhance the local multicultural art community for years to come,” Yi Chen, CEO of Poly Culture North America, said in a news release in November 2016. “We are pleased to be part of the vibrant cultural scene here in Vancouver, and we look forward to making significant contributions toward enhanced cultural ties between Canada and China.”
The bronze- cast heads were among the treasures looted in1860 during the destruction of the old Summer Palace in Beijing. They were originally installed at the zodiac water clock in the Imperial Garden. Cultural experts say the animal heads exemplify the exquisite craftsmanship of Imperial China.
“Poly Culture is proud to present these exceptionally rare and valuable Chinese artifacts from the prosperous Qianlong period to celebrate the start of a historical relationship between British Columbia and Poly Culture Group,” Yingchun Jiang, CEO of Poly Culture Group, said in a news release in November 2016. “Launching our North American headquarters in Vancouver and opening our state-of the-art gallery will serve to promote and strengthen ties between the East and West.”
B. C. Premier Christy Clark announced in December 2015 that Poly Culture selected Vancouver as its North America hub during a trade mission to Beijing. “The cultural and ancestral ties between China and British Columbia run deep,” said Premier Clark. “The opportunity to … see priceless sculptures that have never been seen outside China is a sign that those ties are growing
stronger every day. I know British Columbians of all backgrounds will appreciate the new Poly Art Gallery and all that it brings to Vancouver.”
Poly Culture’s art gallery, auctions, cinemas and theatre performances will help contribute to the growth of B.C.’S arts and culture sector and will foster greater understanding of Chinese culture in British Columbia, added Teresa Wat, minister of International Trade and minister responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism.
Poly Culture Group operates the world’s third- largest auction house – after Christie’s and Sotheby’s – as well as a broad spectrum of museums, theatres and other cultural venues in China. Its parent company, China Poly Group Corp., is one of the largest conglomerates in China, with investments in real estate development, financial asset management and defence technology.
China’s largest art and cultural company will tap into Vancouver as its North American base to expand its arts business and auctions, cinema investment and management, and performance and theatre management.
“Poly Culture Group’s opening of its North American headquarters in Vancouver is a major endorsement of our city and province as a head office location,” Yuen Pau Woo, HQ Vancouver president, said in a news release in November 2016. “As a diverse, vibrant city, Vancouver is attractive to headquarters across many sectors, including arts and culture.”
The Poly Art Gallery, located in downtown Vancouver at 905 West Pender Street, is free to the public. The 18th century collection of rare Chinese artifacts is on display in Vancouver until the end of February 2017.