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    Treasures from the National Palace Museum's Collection of Qing Dynasty Historical Documents_1

    • Dates: 2017/07/01~2018/01/14
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 103

    Exhibit

    Archival documents are not merely records produced by government agencies in the course of their administrative activities but also an important source of materials for the study of policy implementation and the forming of legal institutions. Since ancient times an administrative system has existed to safeguard national archives for auditing purposes and on account of their value as reference materials. In the Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji), it is noted that King Cheng of the Western Zhou dynasty commanded his officials to store important archives in golden cabinets, indicating that the archive system in China dates back more than 3,000 years. Successive dynasties continued the practice of preserving archives, leaving treasure troves of historical documents for posterity.

    Due to their high confidentiality, it was difficult for outsiders to have access to government documents. The Qing dynasty archives in the National Palace Museum’s collection include a variety of official documents from government agencies, resumes and biographies of officials, as well as veritable records, imperial diaries and edicts, and collection of official statutes. As they were considered of great importance in state affairs, such archives were carefully sealed and preserved by the Qing court. When the Manchus came to rule over China they adopted the archival management system of the previous Ming dynasty, and clear and strict regulations for archival practice, such as registering, copying, recalling, repairing, checking, and filing, were spelled out. For example, in consideration of their frequent use by officials and the resulting physical damages, the huge number of archival documents preserved in the Grand Council (Junji chu), which oversaw the highly confidential state affairs, was to be examined and repaired every few years. This provision gives us a sense of the importance the Qing court accorded to the management, maintenance, and preservation of national archives. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    A Closer Look at Chinese Painting: Selected Works from the Ages in the Museum Collection_3

    • Dates: 2017/07/01~2017/09/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 210

    Exhibit

    The development of Chinese painting history can be compared to a marvelous symphony. The styles and traditions of figure, landscape, and bird-and-flower painting formed themes that continue today to blend into a single piece of music in Chinese art. Painters throughout the ages have made up this "orchestra," composing and performing many movements and variations within this long tradition. 

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    A Closer Look at Chinese Painting: Selected Works from the Ages in the Museum Collection_2

    • Dates: 2017/07/01~2017/09/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 210

    Exhibit

    The development of Chinese painting history can be compared to a marvelous symphony. The styles and traditions of figure, landscape, and bird-and-flower painting formed themes that continue today to blend into a single piece of music in Chinese art. Painters throughout the ages have made up this "orchestra," composing and performing many movements and variations within this long tradition. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    A Closer Look at Chinese Painting: Selected Works from the Ages in the Museum Collection_1

    • Dates: 2017/07/01~2017/09/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 210

    Exhibit

    The development of Chinese painting history can be compared to a marvelous symphony. The styles and traditions of figure, landscape, and bird-and-flower painting formed themes that continue today to blend into a single piece of music in Chinese art. Painters throughout the ages have made up this "orchestra," composing and performing many movements and variations within this long tradition. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Painting Animation: Imitating Zhao Bosu's "Latter Ode on the Red Cliff"

    • Dates: 2017/06/30~2017/09/04
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 102

    Exhibit

    Imitating Zhao Bosu's Illustration of the Latter Red Cliff
    Wen Zhengming (1470 - 1559), Ming dynasty
    Handscroll, ink and color on silk, 31.5 × 541.6 cm

    Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), a native of Changzhou (modern Suzhou), learned painting from Shen Zhou, tracing his style back to the Yuan dynasty and becoming one of the Four Ming Masters. This work from 1548 is based on Su Shi's "Latter Ode on the Red Cliff," depicting Su Shi and his two friends returning to the Red Cliff with wine and fish. It is done in light blue-and-green, similar to the literati blue-and-green mode of the Yuan artist Zhao Mengfu, while the structure and piling of mountains and tree branches and leaves reveal Wen's own style. Wen Jia's colophon at the end says the original by Zhao Bosu belonged to a Suzhou scholar. An official wanted it for Grand Secretary Yan Song's son, but the owner was unwilling to part with it. As a result, Wen Zhengming encouraged his friend not to anger such a high official and did this imitation for him. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Graced by Nature: A Special Exhibition of Yu Yu-jen's Calligraphy_2

    • Dates: 2017/06/01~2017/08/27
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 105,107

    Exhibit

    Yu Yu-jen (1879-1964) was a native of Sanyuan in Shaanxi whose ancestors came from Jingyang. Originally named Boxun, he also later used the name Yu-jen, by which he became known, and the late sobriquet Taiping laoren. He was an important calligrapher and political figure of modern times. In his early years, Yu Yu-jen was inspired by a private school teacher to focus on traditional Modelbook Studies calligraphy. Yu was also a reformist, who, after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, later served the Republic as Shaanxi Commander of National Forces. While there, he had the opportunity to study many steles, becoming enamored with the Northern Stele manner of calligraphy that formed the basis of his own unique style of stele script. In doing so, Yu did not deliberately seek powerful sharpness to the lines in his stele script, but neither did he intentionally create exaggerated character forms. Instead, his manner naturally evolved into a broad and archaic manner with a majestic atmosphere that paved the way to break the trend towards rigidity seen in Stele Studies of the late Qing and early Republican period.

    Then, in 1931, Yu Yu-jen established the Cursive Script Society in Shanghai, embarking on the study and organization of Chinese cursive script through the ages. He strived at practicing and promoting standardized cursive script in the hope of saving people’s time and effort in writing while enhancing national competitiveness, demonstrating a traditional Confucian ideal of putting art to practical use. This monumental shift from stele to standardized cursive script not only echoed Yu Yu-jen's earlier bold initiative in joining the revolution to overthrow the Qing, it also gave cursive script new meaning and direction in modern times. In terms of calligraphy, Yu advocated the following: "By no means innovate merely to create something that looks beautiful but actually goes against Nature." This, in fact, is a perfect expression of his own cursive script. Be it the strokes, lines, and structures of individual characters or the overall line spacing and arrangement, all appear organized just right to reach an ultimate in calligraphy that accords with Nature.

    This special exhibition features a wide assortment of calligraphy by Yu Yu-jen donated to or purchased by the National Palace Museum. It also includes many works that he did prior to arriving in Taiwan, providing a full assessment of his accomplishments in both stele and cursive scripts. Befriending a wide variety of people throughout his life, the recipients of Yu’s calligraphy were many. Never ceasing to pick up the brush, he thus left behind a large number of works. This exhibition is arranged mainly based on the development of his calligraphy and divided into different sections to highlight certain aspects of his art, such as reciprocating with friends, daily exercises, and family heirlooms of calligraphy. Together, they present Yu Yu-jen from various perspectives, such as social networking, material culture, and stylistic development, offering a new understanding to the cultural import and calligraphic attainment of this modern master. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Graced by Nature: A Special Exhibition of Yu Yu-jen's Calligraphy_1

    • Dates: 2017/06/01~2017/08/27
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 105,107

    Exhibit

     Yu Yu-jen (1879-1964) was a native of Sanyuan in Shaanxi whose ancestors came from Jingyang. Originally named Boxun, he also later used the name Yu-jen, by which he became known, and the late sobriquet Taiping laoren. He was an important calligrapher and political figure of modern times. In his early years, Yu Yu-jen was inspired by a private school teacher to focus on traditional Modelbook Studies calligraphy. Yu was also a reformist, who, after the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, later served the Republic as Shaanxi Commander of National Forces. While there, he had the opportunity to study many steles, becoming enamored with the Northern Stele manner of calligraphy that formed the basis of his own unique style of stele script. In doing so, Yu did not deliberately seek powerful sharpness to the lines in his stele script, but neither did he intentionally create exaggerated character forms. Instead, his manner naturally evolved into a broad and archaic manner with a majestic atmosphere that paved the way to break the trend towards rigidity seen in Stele Studies of the late Qing and early Republican period.

    Then, in 1931, Yu Yu-jen established the Cursive Script Society in Shanghai, embarking on the study and organization of Chinese cursive script through the ages. He strived at practicing and promoting standardized cursive script in the hope of saving people’s time and effort in writing while enhancing national competitiveness, demonstrating a traditional Confucian ideal of putting art to practical use. This monumental shift from stele to standardized cursive script not only echoed Yu Yu-jen's earlier bold initiative in joining the revolution to overthrow the Qing, it also gave cursive script new meaning and direction in modern times. In terms of calligraphy, Yu advocated the following: "By no means innovate merely to create something that looks beautiful but actually goes against Nature." This, in fact, is a perfect expression of his own cursive script. Be it the strokes, lines, and structures of individual characters or the overall line spacing and arrangement, all appear organized just right to reach an ultimate in calligraphy that accords with Nature.

    This special exhibition features a wide assortment of calligraphy by Yu Yu-jen donated to or purchased by the National Palace Museum. It also includes many works that he did prior to arriving in Taiwan, providing a full assessment of his accomplishments in both stele and cursive scripts. Befriending a wide variety of people throughout his life, the recipients of Yu’s calligraphy were many. Never ceasing to pick up the brush, he thus left behind a large number of works. This exhibition is arranged mainly based on the development of his calligraphy and divided into different sections to highlight certain aspects of his art, such as reciprocating with friends, daily exercises, and family heirlooms of calligraphy. Together, they present Yu Yu-jen from various perspectives, such as social networking, material culture, and stylistic development, offering a new understanding to the cultural import and calligraphic attainment of this modern master.

    Exhibition Package Content

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    The Ancient Art of Writing: Selections from the History of Chinese Calligraphy

    • Dates: 2017/04/01~2017/06/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 204,206

    Exhibit

    To meet the need for recording information and ideas, unique forms of calligraphy (the art of writing) have been part of the Chinese cultural tradition through the ages. Naturally finding applications in daily life, calligraphy still serves as a continuous link between the past and the present. The development of calligraphy, long a subject of interest in Chinese culture, is the theme of this exhibit, which presents to the public selections from the National Palace Museum collection arranged in chronological order for a general overview. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Traveling with Art: Painting and Calligraphy Accompanying the Qianlong Emperor's Southern Tours_4

    • Dates: 2017/04/01~2017/06/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 208,210,212

    Exhibit

     The Qianlong emperor, who sat on the throne of China from 1735 to 1796, was not a ruler who amassed a huge collection of painting and calligraphy merely for the sake of ownership, but someone who relished the appreciation of artworks and extolled their virtues, also placing much emphasis on searching for them. This exhibition takes a look at the observations he made during six inspection tours of the south between 1751 and 1784. From the voluminous poetry written by Qianlong in praise of painting and calligraphy, we can identify some of the artworks that accompanied his trips, offering a better understanding of and new perspective on his connoisseurial activities. Based on the contents of his inscriptions and the time they were written, it appears that Qianlong often enjoyed displaying artworks on or related to the places he visited on his tours. Some of his favorite works even became essential travel companions, which he took out to sing their praise time and again.

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Traveling with Art: Painting and Calligraphy Accompanying the Qianlong Emperor's Southern Tours_3

    • Dates: 2017/04/01~2017/06/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 208,210,212

    Exhibit

    The Qianlong emperor, who sat on the throne of China from 1735 to 1796, was not a ruler who amassed a huge collection of painting and calligraphy merely for the sake of ownership, but someone who relished the appreciation of artworks and extolled their virtues, also placing much emphasis on searching for them. This exhibition takes a look at the observations he made during six inspection tours of the south between 1751 and 1784. From the voluminous poetry written by Qianlong in praise of painting and calligraphy, we can identify some of the artworks that accompanied his trips, offering a better understanding of and new perspective on his connoisseurial activities. Based on the contents of his inscriptions and the time they were written, it appears that Qianlong often enjoyed displaying artworks on or related to the places he visited on his tours. Some of his favorite works even became essential travel companions, which he took out to sing their praise time and again. 

    Exhibition Package Content

Last Update: 2017-09-20