Good news: Hong Kong is welcoming its very own palace museum.
The Hong Kong Palace Museum, which is set to open to the public on July 2, is the first museum jointly established with the Palace Museum in Beijing outside the Chinese mainland.
At the opening, a total of 914 treasures from the Palace Museum will be on display, among them, 166 are first-class cultural relics classified as national treasures.
The blockbuster exhibition “The Making of Masterpieces: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Palace Museum” will display 35 classic works from the Jin (265-420), Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties. This exhibition is the largest of its kind outside the Chinese mainland within the past 15 years. A range of fine Chinese ceramics from different dynasties will also be presented in Hong Kong for the first time.
Even more exciting is that the Hong Kong Palace Museum will offer exhibitions that have not been seen in the Palace Museum. For example, one of the opening exhibitions “Grand Gallop: Art and Culture of the Horse” will showcase more than 100 horse-related cultural relics from the Palace Museum and 13 renowned horse-themed artworks on loan from the Louvre Museum in France, allowing Eastern and Western civilizations to shine brightly together.
The Palace Museum has long been fascinating for people in Hong Kong. Over the years, the museum has conducted various exchanges and cooperation with the special administrative region. A host of splendid exhibitions on Qing dynasty imperial costumes, cultural relics from the Hall of Mental Cultivation in the Forbidden City, and valuable clocks and watches have been displayed in Hong Kong’s museums, each attracting a sea of visitors.
Additionally, Hong Kong was once a center for the production of palace-based TV dramas, and such dramas produced on the Chinese mainland also attracted high ratings in Hong Kong. Given the rich elements from the Palace Museum shown in these dramas, it is fair to say that the museum constitutes a common cultural symbol of the two regions.
It is based on this affection for and recognition of culture that the Hong Kong Palace Museum has been jointly established and the Palace Museum has made an exception in loaning out items from its precious collection on a long-term basis. This enables Chinese people both on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong to jointly share and protect the cultural treasures spanning 5,000 years of history.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. Having traditionally played the role of a center for international finance, shipping and trade, Hong Kong is now endowed with a new status as a center of Sino-foreign cultural and artistic exchanges. The founding of the Hong Kong Palace Museum has enriched the region’s cultural heritage. Hong Kong, rooted as it is in Chinese traditions, will not only retain its allure as a vibrant metropolis where East meets West, but also play a bigger role in promoting in-depth dialogue over diverse values as well as exchanges and mutual learning among outstanding civilizations.
We are looking forward to the official opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, where everyone can savor the glamour of Eastern culture interpreted by a more glorious “Pearl of the Orient.”