Exhibition offers an incredible display of 220 sets of ancient gold artefacts

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Exhibition offers an incredible display of 220 sets of ancient gold artefacts
Officiating guests attended the launch of the “Radiance: Ancient Gold from the Hong Kong Palace Museum Collection and the Mengdiexuan Collection” exhibition today (21 February) before it officially opens to the public.

HONG KONG.- The Hong Kong Palace Museum, Hong Kong’s new cultural landmark in the West Kowloon Cultural District, unveiled “Radiance: Ancient Gold from the Hong Kong Palace Museum Collection and the Mengdiexuan Collection”, the first special exhibition curated from the Museum’s own permanent collection. The exhibition offers an incredible display of 220 sets of ancient gold artefacts, with the oldest dating back to the 18th century BCE. The majority of items on display are specially selected from a donation made to the HKPM by the owners of the world-renowned Mengdiexuan Collection (夢蝶軒), Betty Lo and Kenneth Chu, while the rest of the exhibits are loaned from the Collection. The exhibition will be open to the public from (22 February 2023) until 25 September 2023.

The exhibition presents an incredible display of 220 sets of gold objects, including exquisite accessories of the nobles and the splendid ornaments that adorned their horses and carriages, with the oldest dating back to the 18th century BCE. These delicately crafted gold objects still glimmer, despite their age, and many are being shown to the public for the first time.

The exhibition is divided into three sections: the first section features early gold objects from the Central Plains and Northern Steppe from the 18th century BCE to the Han Dynasty, such as the gold crowns of a Xiongnu elite, examining the interaction between ancient China and the Steppe. The second section focuses on the role of gold in the close relationship between the Tubo Kingdom and the Tang dynasty from the 7th to 10th century, which was marked by frequent exchanges resulting from the development of the Silk Road trade routes. Highlighted exhibits include ornaments used by Tubo nobles and embellished with patterns from the Central Plains, as well as the jewelled headdress inspired by Central Western Asian crafts and worn by princesses of the Tang dynasty. The last section looks at the pinnacle of goldsmithing in ancient China, demonstrating the cultural localisation and integration that took place from the Liao and Song dynasties to the Ming dynasty.

Nurturing the public’s knowledge and appreciation of Chinese arts and culture

In addition to showcasing the precious treasures loaned from the Palace Museum, the HKPM is committed to building a unique collection that highlights Hong Kong’s role in promoting traditional Chinese culture and the efforts of collectors in showcasing its beauty. The Museum also highlights the interaction between China and the world as well as the artistic and cultural dialogue between ancient China and the present. Betty Lo and Kenneth Chu, owners of the Mengdiexuan Collection, are both eminent collectors. In 2022, the couple generously donated 306 sets of ancient Chinese gold and silver antiquities to the HKPM, including precious items spanning more than 3,000 years. Their donation laid a strong foundation for the development of the Museum’s permanent collection.

To complement this special exhibition, various educational programmes will be held at the HKPM, including a talk hosted by HKPM’s curators, which Betty Lo and Kenneth Chu will share their collecting journey, connoisseurship, and other insights into the exhibition.

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