Exhibitions at a Glance

Current Exhibitions

A Brocade of Images: Landscapes and Figures in Tapestry and Embroidery

Tapestry is a form of textile art done on a simple plain loom with discontinuous weft threads woven onto a full expanse of warp threads. It involves first composing a draft of the intended image on the warp threads and then separately shuttling threads of various colors and lengths attached as the weft based on the desired pattern. Shuttling back and forth on the loom thereby builds up the individual parts of the image, but the edges between them appear abrupt with a saw-tooth gap as if cut out. Thus referred to as “cut silk” in Chinese, tapestry is also known as the art of “producing something from nothing.” Chinese embroidery involves outlining a pattern on a foundation of various weaves of silk, such as plain, twill, light, and satin, and then embroidering with silk threads. Hence, embroidery has been compared to the expression “adding flowers to brocade” (making something even more beautiful).

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The Last Stroke of Literati Painting: A Special Exhibition of Painting and Calligraphy by Pu Hsin-yu

Pu Ru (sometimes spelled Puru; 1896-1963) was often known by his style name Hsin-yu and also had the sobriquet Xishan yishi. A descendant of Yixin (1833-1898), Prince Gong, a prominent ruling member, he later frequently used the seal "Jiuwang sun," or "Scion of a former prince," on his works. In his early years, he lived as a recluse at Jietai Monastery in Xishan (the Western Hills), where he studied and did painting. He returned to Beiping (Beijing) when he was nearly thirty and took part in various art circles, becoming known with Chang Dai-chien as "Pu of the North and Chang of the South." In 1949, he went to Taiwan and taught at National Taiwan Normal University. He also taught at home and traveled to various places, such as Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong, to give lectures; his poetry, painting and calligraphy were admired by many.

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Story of an Artistic Style: Imperial Porcelain with Painted Enamels of the Qianlong Emperor

In comparison to the colors and ornaments of the Kangxi and Yongzheng period, the painted enamels of the Qianlong period are considered innovative perfections among the official wares and can be appreciated from three perspectives: "Convergence of Tints", "Novelty of Brilliance", and "Storage and Collection". The innovative patterns and intricate details on these enamel wares tell the fascinating story of the style that emerged during the Qianlong reign.

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Appraisal of the Past: The Imperial Bronze Collection during the Qianlong Reign

Emperor Qianlong amassed enormous ancient bronzes, which decorated halls and became a scenery in the Qing palaces like his other precious collections. Notably, he commissioned officials to measure, depict and write entries for these vessels. The sustained research effort spanned sixty years and resulted in three catalogues of imperial bronze collection. The most comprehensive official catalogues of their kind, this labor-consuming project produced visual documentation of numerous bronze antiquities at the Qing court in pre-modern China.

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Snuff: The Trend of Snuff Bottles from the Qing Court

The National Palace Museum holds an extensive collection of the most exquisite snuff bottles from the Qing court. The term "snuff" originated from the West. It entered China during the Kangxi reign and was translated into "Shinahu" at the time. Snuff is made from fermented tobacco powder blended with aromatic scents, and is inhaled directly from the nose to help clear the airway and lift up the spirits. From innovative techniques to the craftsmanship of varied materials, this exhibition invites viewers to appreciate the exquisite art of snuff bottles from the Qing dynasty.

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Story of an Artistic Style: The Imperial Porcelain with Painted Enamels of the Kangxi Emperor

This exhibition focuses on the style of the painted enamels from the Qing imperial collection. Through the sections "Testing Pieces from the Emperor's Experimental Workshop" and "Style of Imperial Production", it presents the testing pieces originally stored at the Jingyang Palace, Forbidden City, and compares the testing pieces with finished pieces to highlight the transformation of painted enamel wares during the Kangxi reign and the intriguing stories embedded within.

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Past Exhibitions

Online Only

Google Arts and Culture Online Exhibits
The Decorative Beauty of the Tibetan Dragon Buddhist Canon
Traveling Among Mountains and Streams: An Introduction to Landscapes of Northern Song
The Literati's Ordinaries: A Proposal of Life from the 17th Century
Floral Art for Pleasure — Appreciation of Flower Vessels and Lifestyle
Themed Sites