The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Stories Untold—Figure Paintings of the Ming Dynasty from the Palace Museum exhibition was unveiled at the Hong Kong Palace Museum today (12 December). Solely sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the Palace Museum, it is Hong Kong’s first-ever exhibition showcasing historical Chinese figure paintings. It is also the first major annual exhibition presented under a donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club to support the Hong Kong Palace Museum’s talent development initiative, exhibitions and educational programmes in 2023–2031.
Many of the exhibition’s 81 sets of paintings are being displayed outside of the Palace Museum for the first time, including rare and iconic works by three of the “Four Masters of the Ming Dynasty”, namely Tang Yin, Wen Zhengming and Qiu Ying. To protect these precious cultural gems, 14 of which are grade-one national treasures, they will be displayed in four rotations, each featuring approximately 20 sets of paintings to be on display for around three months each.
Guests officiating at the exhibition’s opening ceremony included Chan Kwok-ki, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; Raistlin Lau, Under Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Dr Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum; Winnie Tam, Chairman of the Board of the Hong Kong Palace Museum; Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum.
The construction of the Hong Kong Palace Museum at the West Kowloon Cultural District was funded by a HK$3.5 billion donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust – the Club’s largest single charity donation to date. “Seven years ago, the Club supported the Government of the Hong Kong SAR by funding the establishment of the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Our joint vision was to create a truly iconic museum, where people from East and West can appreciate the very best of Chinese art and culture in Hong Kong,” said the Club’s CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. “Museum practitioners and artists will be able to explore the Palace Museum’s rich collections. Learning and outreach programmes will help visitors of all ages learn more about Chinese history and culture,” added Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges.
The exhibition also features interactive games and videos to provide visitors with a more comprehensive learning experience. Docents will give mini-talks about individual works, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the historical context behind the figure paintings. In addition there will be talks and seminars by curators and experts, workshops led by renowned local Chinese painters, and guided tours for local community groups with special needs. The exhibition opens tomorrow and runs until 30 November 2024. For further details please visit https://www.hkpm.org.hk/.
The Club has supported many local arts and culture initiatives over the years, notably the conservation and revitalisation of Tai Kwun. The Club supports the Central Government’s vision of developing Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, as outlined in the National 14th Five-Year Plan.
The Club’s support for the Hong Kong Palace Museum, like all of its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate employment, tax and charity support for the community.