Exhibitions at new $450m Hong Kong Palace Museum will present ‘a new, present-day interpretation of Chinese culture’

The museum less than construction in the West Kowloon Cultural District aims to relate Chinese countrywide treasures to modern-day daily life
Courtesy of the Hong Kong Palace Museum

The Hong Kong Palace Museum will clearly show some 800 Chinese national treasures when it opens in mid-2022, but it ought to not be witnessed as a department of the world-renowned establishment in Beijing’s Forbidden Metropolis, suggests its director.

“We have no intention to build a branch… but to use Hong Kong as a platform to give a new interpretation of [the Palace Museum’s] selection,” suggests Louis Ng, a veteran Hong Kong arts administrator, in an interview with The Artwork Newspaper. The museum under construction in the city’s West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) aims to achieve a younger worldwide viewers with technological know-how whilst forging a dialogue among Chinese culture and world civilisations.

Louis Ng, the director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum

The Hong Kong Palace Museum is a late addition to the government-funded arts hub, exactly where it is owing to adhere to the opening this calendar year of M+, the lengthy-awaited museum of modern day and contemporary visual culture. The Palace Museum venture was unveiled in a shock announcement on 23 December 2016, when a memorandum of knowledge was signed between the WKCD authority and the Palace Museum in Beijing. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Have confidence in built a HK$3.5bn ($450m) donation to cover the full money value, together with structure, design and exhibition progress.

“We have no intention to establish a branch… but to use Hong Kong as a system to give a new interpretation”
Louis Ng, Hong Kong Palace Museum director

The deal right away sparked controversy more than its deficiency of transparency. WKCD mentioned at the time that the venture experienced to keep on being private originally for the reason that it was topic to agreements with mainland Chinese federal government authorities. Point out limits on lending artefacts to museums outside mainland China experienced to be loosened so that objects from Beijing can journey to the new Hong Kong venue for for a longer period intervals of time.

A belated general public session on the museum was introduced in January 2017, engaging extra than 48,000 people. Some respondents questioned for a lot more thematic exhibitions and collaboration with other museums and collectors. Bigger engagement with a youthful viewers was also among the the requests.

An architectural rendering of the atrium of the Hong Kong Palace Museum
Courtesy of the Hong Kong Palace Museum

Options for the museum’s nine galleries seem to be to be responding to some of people suggestions. Spanning all-around 7,800 sq. m of exhibition space in the setting up built by the Hong Kong architect Rocco Yim, the 800 is effective of artwork and antiquities on display will often rotate for conservation factors. For illustration, a portray from the Jin dynasty (Ad266-420) that is additional than 1,500 a long time outdated can only be revealed for one thirty day period for the reason that of its fragility.

From Qing to modern

3 thematic exhibitions are prepared each 12 months. Fairly than presenting artefacts from a 1- dimensional aesthetic point of view, the curators will relate historic art treasures to modern existence, Ng states, to attraction to young website visitors and these who may possibly be unfamiliar with museums. The crew comprises both equally area and intercontinental professionals in Chinese art and heritage, visual tradition and electronic media.

One of the opening demonstrates, curated by designer Stanley Wong, gives a dialogue involving Qing crafts and contemporary style and design. An additional exhibition committed to the art and tradition of the horse will juxtapose depictions of horses in Chinese lifestyle with individuals from the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The museum will also team up with non-public collectors, commencing with an inaugural display screen on the record of art collecting in Hong Kong. And nearby contemporary artists will be commissioned to build new functions responding to the Palace Museum’s selection.

A rendering of the exterior of the Hong Kong Palace Museum
Courtesy of the Hong Kong Palace Museum

“We are not just displaying objects, nor copying the Palace Museum. We want to create a new, up to date interpretation of Chinese society,” Ng suggests.

Moreover Beijing, Taipei also has a Countrywide Palace Museum—the household of China’s imperial treasures that ended up evacuated all through the civil war in the 1940s. The Hong Kong museum at this time has no collection-sharing ideas with the Taipei institution, which has rigid restrictions on lending functions and artefacts overseas, but it is exploring other collaboration possibilities, in accordance to Ng.

“The Hong Kong Palace Museum is an open platform, 1 that isn’t just about the review of art and lifestyle, but to convey art into our life,” he says.