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    Famous Painting in the Spotlight "Manual of Birds"_2

    • Dates: 2017/01/01~2017/03/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 202

    Exhibit

    Manual of Birds
    Anonymous, Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
    The original title of this album is "Collaborative Copy of Jiang Tingxi's 'Manual of Birds' " by Yu Sheng (1692-after 1767) and Zhang Weibang. On exhibit here are the first to thirteenth leaves.

    On the right side of each folding leaf is a depiction in fine-line brushwork and Western painting methods for a different kind of bird, including some of legend and myth. On the left is a text written in Chinese and Manchu for the name of the bird, its habits, and environs, making it similar to a modern illustrated almanac of birds. This album employs the compositional forms and artistic methods of bird-and-flower painting to record the features and habitats of birds. The leaves, moreover, can be regarded as individual works of art. The unique ideas and contents in this album make it a rarity in the history of Chinese bird-and-flower painting, bestowing upon it exceptional artistic value. 

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Famous Painting in the Spotlight "Manual of Birds"_1

    • Dates: 2017/01/01~2017/03/25
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 202

    Exhibit

     

    Manual of Birds
    Anonymous, Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
    The original title of this album is "Collaborative Copy of Jiang Tingxi's 'Manual of Birds' " by Yu Sheng (1692-after 1767) and Zhang Weibang. On exhibit here are the first to thirteenth leaves.

    On the right side of each folding leaf is a depiction in fine-line brushwork and Western painting methods for a different kind of bird, including some of legend and myth. On the left is a text written in Chinese and Manchu for the name of the bird, its habits, and environs, making it similar to a modern illustrated almanac of birds. This album employs the compositional forms and artistic methods of bird-and-flower painting to record the features and habitats of birds. The leaves, moreover, can be regarded as individual works of art. The unique ideas and contents in this album make it a rarity in the history of Chinese bird-and-flower painting, bestowing upon it exceptional artistic value.

    Exhibition Package Content

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    Painting Animation:Activities of the Twelve Months

    • Dates: 2016/12/27~2017/03/30
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 102

    Exhibit

    Since 2011, the National Palace Museum initiated a series of high-resolution long scroll painting animations. Using the latest technology, several high-resolution 1080 HD projectors seamlessly unfold sceneries from classical long scroll paintings on the wall. The painting animation series reproduces nine popular paintings and calligraphy , including Along the River During Qingming (Qing court artists), Spring Morning in the Han Palace (Qiu Ying), Imitating Zhao Bosu's Latter Ode on the Red Cliff (Wen Zhengming), Syzygy of the Sun, Moon, and Five Planets(Xu Yang), Departure Herald (Anonymous), Return Clearing (Anonymous), Activities of the Twelve Lunar Months (Qing court artists), One Hundred Horses (Giuseppe Castligione), The Cold Food Observance (Su Shi), Poem in Seven-character Verse (Huang Tingjian) . Inspired by historical material related to the artworks, the animations faithfully present the true spirit of the original paintings and their most attractive parts. A fascinating feature of the long scroll painting is its ability to simultaneously manifest chronological continuity and segmentation. As a result of the unique painting scale and traditional right to left reading direction, painting compositions unfurl accordingly and emphasize horizontal relationships. Oftentimes, scenes occurring at different points in time were depicted on a single scroll.

    Exhibition Package Content

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    The Green Borderlands: Treaties and Maps that Defined the Qing’s Southwest Boundaries_2

    • Dates: 2016/12/10~2017/06/18
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 104

    Exhibit

    The border defines a country's boundary with neighboring states and is a natural flashpoint for international incidents. China's borders with Vietnam and Burma, over 3,600 kilometers in length, have since the Qing dynasty been a site for frequent clashes. Among the archives of the late Qing's Office in Charge of Affairs of All Nations (Zongli Geguo Shiwu Yamen, or Zongli Yamen) and the Beiyang Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs held in trust by the National Palace Museum for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are a large number of Qing territorial treaties and records signed with France and Great Britain over borders with Vietnam and Burma, and maps that delineate the boundaries between Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan, and those between Yunnan and Burma. Owing to their sensitive and controversial nature, the documents were classified as highly confidential and sequestered from public view. In 2001, the Museum was entrusted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the task of collecting and digitizing these historical documents. In 2007, they were finally de-classified and have since been incorporated into an electronic database accessible by all. The Ministry also agreed to include them in exhibitions. In 2010 and 2011, the Museum mounted two presentations showcasing these documents, The Lost Frontier: Treaty Maps that Changed the Qing’s Northwestern Boundaries and A Century of Resilient Tradition: an Exhibition of the Republic of China's Diplomatic Archives, which received great acclaim from both domestic and international visitors.

    Situated on the eastern part of the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam is bordered by the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan to the north. Burma, lying on the western part of the peninsula, shares a border of more than 2,100 kilometers with Yunnan. During the Qing dynasty, both Vietnam and Burma were tributary states to imperial China, and as such they did not sign any territorial treaties with the Qing court; hence, China’s southwestern borders remained fuzzy. However, following the Sino-French War during the Guangxu reign, the two sides signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Commerce, ending the Qing's suzerainty claim over Vietnam, and it led to proposals to clearly demarcate the border. Negotiations between the two sides ensued in the 11th year of the Guangxu reign (1885) and lasted till the 22nd year (1896). Over ten boundary treaties were signed, and borders were demarcated and signposts erected. Great Britain, on the other hand, invaded northern Burma in the 11th year and after three Anglo-Burmese Wars came to control the entire country. In the 12th year (1886), the Qing court signed the Convention Relative to Burma and Thibet with Great Britain, and agreed to send representatives to survey and demarcate the border between Yunnan and Burma. In the 20th year (1894), the two sides signed a supplementary agreement over the border and trade issues between Yunnan and Burma that confirmed the basic orientation of the central and southern borderlines. However, a large number of border disputes remained unsettled and continued into the Republic era.

    The present exhibition is composed of five sections: "China's Southwest Borders before the Mid-Qing Dynasty," "Surveying the Sino-Vietnamese Border in Guangxi and Guangdong, " "Erecting Signposts along the Sino-Vietnamese Border in Eastern and Western Guangxi, " "Surveying the Sino-Vietnamese Border in Yunnan, " and "Surveying the Yunnan-Burma Border." Along with the treaties and maps held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, documents and cartographic materials on Qing China's southwest borders from the Museum's collection are also on display. The objects selected are for the first time being unveiled to the public.

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    The Green Borderlands: Treaties and Maps that Defined the Qing’s Southwest Boundaries_1

    • Dates: 2016/12/10~2017/06/18
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 104

    Exhibit

    The border defines a country's boundary with neighboring states and is a natural flashpoint for international incidents. China's borders with Vietnam and Burma, over 3,600 kilometers in length, have since the Qing dynasty been a site for frequent clashes. Among the archives of the late Qing's Office in Charge of Affairs of All Nations (Zongli Geguo Shiwu Yamen, or Zongli Yamen) and the Beiyang Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs held in trust by the National Palace Museum for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are a large number of Qing territorial treaties and records signed with France and Great Britain over borders with Vietnam and Burma, and maps that delineate the boundaries between Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan, and those between Yunnan and Burma. Owing to their sensitive and controversial nature, the documents were classified as highly confidential and sequestered from public view. In 2001, the Museum was entrusted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the task of collecting and digitizing these historical documents. In 2007, they were finally de-classified and have since been incorporated into an electronic database accessible by all. The Ministry also agreed to include them in exhibitions. In 2010 and 2011, the Museum mounted two presentations showcasing these documents, The Lost Frontier: Treaty Maps that Changed the Qing’s Northwestern Boundaries and A Century of Resilient Tradition: an Exhibition of the Republic of China's Diplomatic Archives, which received great acclaim from both domestic and international visitors.

    Situated on the eastern part of the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam is bordered by the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan to the north. Burma, lying on the western part of the peninsula, shares a border of more than 2,100 kilometers with Yunnan. During the Qing dynasty, both Vietnam and Burma were tributary states to imperial China, and as such they did not sign any territorial treaties with the Qing court; hence, China’s southwestern borders remained fuzzy. However, following the Sino-French War during the Guangxu reign, the two sides signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Commerce, ending the Qing's suzerainty claim over Vietnam, and it led to proposals to clearly demarcate the border. Negotiations between the two sides ensued in the 11th year of the Guangxu reign (1885) and lasted till the 22nd year (1896). Over ten boundary treaties were signed, and borders were demarcated and signposts erected. Great Britain, on the other hand, invaded northern Burma in the 11th year and after three Anglo-Burmese Wars came to control the entire country. In the 12th year (1886), the Qing court signed the Convention Relative to Burma and Thibet with Great Britain, and agreed to send representatives to survey and demarcate the border between Yunnan and Burma. In the 20th year (1894), the two sides signed a supplementary agreement over the border and trade issues between Yunnan and Burma that confirmed the basic orientation of the central and southern borderlines. However, a large number of border disputes remained unsettled and continued into the Republic era.

    The present exhibition is composed of five sections: "China's Southwest Borders before the Mid-Qing Dynasty," "Surveying the Sino-Vietnamese Border in Guangxi and Guangdong, " "Erecting Signposts along the Sino-Vietnamese Border in Eastern and Western Guangxi, " "Surveying the Sino-Vietnamese Border in Yunnan, " and "Surveying the Yunnan-Burma Border." Along with the treaties and maps held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, documents and cartographic materials on Qing China's southwest borders from the Museum's collection are also on display. The objects selected are for the first time being unveiled to the public.

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    A Gathering of Treasures in the National Palace Museum North and South

    • Dates: 2016/10/07~2017/07/31
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 302

    Exhibit

    Savoring a Taste of Life: Cabbages of Jade

    Chinese cabbage and bok choy are vegetables that originated in Asia and became a common source of food. In Chinese art, cabbage appeared as a subject in painting as early as the Song dynasty. As for their observation, artists went so far as to include insects resting or nibbling on the leaves, or flying and jumping in a garden, giving the scenes life and vitality while conveying the idea of harmony and co-existence in nature. Later, however, the cabbage would take on different meanings for different people! Rulers would see the cabbage as a symbol reminding them of self-reflection, for to receive the bounty of nature means to ensure that people are also fed and clothed, not lacking the basic necessities of life. Scholars came to view the cabbage as representing lofty ambitions instead of the vain pursuit of fame and fortune, finding satisfaction with what they already have. The ultimate expression of all was the ingenious skill of artisans who did not see the imperfections of jade as an impediment, instead using them and the gradations of white and green with but one goal in mind: to present the purity of cabbage to symbolize the chastity of a bride, wishing her numerous descendants and prosperity.

    This stage in the exhibition of "A Gathering of Treasures in the National Palace Museum North and South" features works on the subject of cabbage, the star of the show being "Jadeite Cabbage." All are hereby invited to savor a taste of life and to share in these memories of beauty!

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    Elegant Gathering of the Princess: The Culture of Appreciating and Collecting Art at the Mongol Yuan Court_3

    • Dates: 2016/10/06~2016/12/26
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 202,208,210,212

    Exhibit

    On the 23rd day of the third lunar month in the third year of the Zhizhi reign in the Yuan dynasty (corresponding to April 28, 1323), a prominent Mongolian princess by the name of Sengge Ragi held an elegant gathering at Tianqing Temple south of the capital Dadu (modern Beijing). Li Shilu, Director of the Imperial Library, was responsible for the gathering and members of the princess's imperial household assisted in organizing it. During the event, she took out works of Chinese painting and calligraphy from her collection for the appreciation of those in attendance and invited them to write inscriptions. This elegant gathering has come to be seen as a means for the ruling Mongols to proclaim their acceptance and appreciation of the high arts of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Modern scholars have also studied surviving and recorded works with the princess's collection seal, "Library of the Imperial Elder Sister," to compile a list of painting and calligraphy that was once in her collection. From the perspective of cultural history, their research offers a way to analyze the acquired tastes of appreciating and collecting art on the part of the Mongol rulers.

    Princess Sengge Ragi was the great-granddaughter of the renowned Kublai Khan. Her grandfather was Prince Zhenjin and her father Darmabala, both also important figures in the Mongol Yuan ruling clan. She was also not the only member to take part in activities related to collecting art. Her son-in-law, Tugh Temür, who became Emperor Wenzong, established the Kuizhang Pavilion. There, he viewed rare books and participated in the appreciation of art with academicians, using seals with the "Tianli" (for his reign name) and "Kuizhang" characters to mark his collection. Later, Togon Temür (the last Yuan emperor known as Shundi) used the seal "Treasure of the Xuanwen Pavilion" on Chinese painting and calligraphy at his court. These three figures all had important works of the Song and Yuan dynasties in their collections.

    This special exhibition features 43 works, many of which are masterpieces from the Song and Yuan dynasties. Since some are of "restricted" status, they must be rotated to accommodate shorter display periods. The exhibit is not merely an opportunity to present famous artworks from the collections of these three members of the Mongol Yuan imperial clan. By providing a glimpse of the imperial holdings, the display demonstrates, from a Yuan cultural perspective, the significance of Mongol rulers' involvement in Chinese painting and calligraphy. In contrast with previous studies emphasizing the sinicizing role of Chinese art on Mongol rulers, this exhibit focuses on showing the unique interaction among ethnic groups at the time, allowing audiences to witness in concrete terms a new cultural vision of "toleration and acceptance."

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    Elegant Gathering of the Princess: The Culture of Appreciating and Collecting Art at the Mongol Yuan Court_2

    • Dates: 2016/10/06~2016/12/26
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 202,208,210,212

    Exhibit

    On the 23rd day of the third lunar month in the third year of the Zhizhi reign in the Yuan dynasty (corresponding to April 28, 1323), a prominent Mongolian princess by the name of Sengge Ragi held an elegant gathering at Tianqing Temple south of the capital Dadu (modern Beijing). Li Shilu, Director of the Imperial Library, was responsible for the gathering and members of the princess's imperial household assisted in organizing it. During the event, she took out works of Chinese painting and calligraphy from her collection for the appreciation of those in attendance and invited them to write inscriptions. This elegant gathering has come to be seen as a means for the ruling Mongols to proclaim their acceptance and appreciation of the high arts of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Modern scholars have also studied surviving and recorded works with the princess's collection seal, "Library of the Imperial Elder Sister," to compile a list of painting and calligraphy that was once in her collection. From the perspective of cultural history, their research offers a way to analyze the acquired tastes of appreciating and collecting art on the part of the Mongol rulers.

    Princess Sengge Ragi was the great-granddaughter of the renowned Kublai Khan. Her grandfather was Prince Zhenjin and her father Darmabala, both also important figures in the Mongol Yuan ruling clan. She was also not the only member to take part in activities related to collecting art. Her son-in-law, Tugh Temür, who became Emperor Wenzong, established the Kuizhang Pavilion. There, he viewed rare books and participated in the appreciation of art with academicians, using seals with the "Tianli" (for his reign name) and "Kuizhang" characters to mark his collection. Later, Togon Temür (the last Yuan emperor known as Shundi) used the seal "Treasure of the Xuanwen Pavilion" on Chinese painting and calligraphy at his court. These three figures all had important works of the Song and Yuan dynasties in their collections.

    This special exhibition features 43 works, many of which are masterpieces from the Song and Yuan dynasties. Since some are of "restricted" status, they must be rotated to accommodate shorter display periods. The exhibit is not merely an opportunity to present famous artworks from the collections of these three members of the Mongol Yuan imperial clan. By providing a glimpse of the imperial holdings, the display demonstrates, from a Yuan cultural perspective, the significance of Mongol rulers' involvement in Chinese painting and calligraphy. In contrast with previous studies emphasizing the sinicizing role of Chinese art on Mongol rulers, this exhibit focuses on showing the unique interaction among ethnic groups at the time, allowing audiences to witness in concrete terms a new cultural vision of "toleration and acceptance."

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    Elegant Gathering of the Princess: The Culture of Appreciating and Collecting Art at the Mongol Yuan Court_1

    • Dates: 2016/10/06~2016/12/26
    • Gallery: Exhibition Area I 202,208,210,212

    Exhibit

    On the 23rd day of the third lunar month in the third year of the Zhizhi reign in the Yuan dynasty (corresponding to April 28, 1323), a prominent Mongolian princess by the name of Sengge Ragi held an elegant gathering at Tianqing Temple south of the capital Dadu (modern Beijing). Li Shilu, Director of the Imperial Library, was responsible for the gathering and members of the princess's imperial household assisted in organizing it. During the event, she took out works of Chinese painting and calligraphy from her collection for the appreciation of those in attendance and invited them to write inscriptions. This elegant gathering has come to be seen as a means for the ruling Mongols to proclaim their acceptance and appreciation of the high arts of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Modern scholars have also studied surviving and recorded works with the princess's collection seal, "Library of the Imperial Elder Sister," to compile a list of painting and calligraphy that was once in her collection. From the perspective of cultural history, their research offers a way to analyze the acquired tastes of appreciating and collecting art on the part of the Mongol rulers.

    Princess Sengge Ragi was the great-granddaughter of the renowned Kublai Khan. Her grandfather was Prince Zhenjin and her father Darmabala, both also important figures in the Mongol Yuan ruling clan. She was also not the only member to take part in activities related to collecting art. Her son-in-law, Tugh Temür, who became Emperor Wenzong, established the Kuizhang Pavilion. There, he viewed rare books and participated in the appreciation of art with academicians, using seals with the "Tianli" (for his reign name) and "Kuizhang" characters to mark his collection. Later, Togon Temür (the last Yuan emperor known as Shundi) used the seal "Treasure of the Xuanwen Pavilion" on Chinese painting and calligraphy at his court. These three figures all had important works of the Song and Yuan dynasties in their collections.

    This special exhibition features 43 works, many of which are masterpieces from the Song and Yuan dynasties. Since some are of "restricted" status, they must be rotated to accommodate shorter display periods. The exhibit is not merely an opportunity to present famous artworks from the collections of these three members of the Mongol Yuan imperial clan. By providing a glimpse of the imperial holdings, the display demonstrates, from a Yuan cultural perspective, the significance of Mongol rulers' involvement in Chinese painting and calligraphy. In contrast with previous studies emphasizing the sinicizing role of Chinese art on Mongol rulers, this exhibit focuses on showing the unique interaction among ethnic groups at the time, allowing audiences to witness in concrete terms a new cultural vision of "toleration and acceptance."

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

    • Dates: Permanent Exhibit 2016/10/01~2016/12/30
    • 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.

    The dynasties of the Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-220 CE) represent a crucial era in the history of Chinese calligraphy. On the one hand, diverse forms of brushed and engraved "ancient writing" and "large seal" scripts were unified into a standard type known as "small seal." On the other hand, the process of abbreviating and adapting seal script to form a new one known as "clerical" (emerging previously in the Eastern Zhou dynasty) was finalized, thereby creating a universal script in the Han dynasty. In the trend towards abbreviation and brevity in writing, clerical script continued to evolve and eventually led to the formation of "cursive," "running," and "standard" script. Since changes in writing did not take place overnight, several transitional styles and mixed scripts appeared in the chaotic post-Han period, but these transformations eventually led to established forms for brush strokes and characters.

    The dynasties of the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) represent another important period in Chinese calligraphy. Unification of the country brought calligraphic styles of the north and south together as brushwork methods became increasingly complete. Starting from this time, standard script would become the universal form through the ages. In the Song dynasty (960-1279), the tradition of engraving modelbook copies became a popular way to preserve the works of ancient masters. Song scholar-artists, however, were not satisfied with just following tradition, for they considered calligraphy also as a means of creative and personal expression.

    Revivalist calligraphers of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), in turning to and advocating revivalism, further developed the classical traditions of the Jin and Tang dynasties. At the same time, notions of artistic freedom and liberation from rules in calligraphy also gained momentum, becoming a leading trend in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Among the diverse manners of this period, the elegant freedom of semi-cursive script contrasts dramatically with more conservative manners. Thus, calligraphers with their own styles formed individual paths that were not overshadowed by the mainstream of the time.

    Starting in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), scholars increasingly turned to inspiration from the rich resource of ancient works inscribed with seal and clerical script. Influenced by an atmosphere of closely studying these antiquities, Qing scholars became familiar with steles and helped create a trend in calligraphy that complemented the Modelbook school. Thus, the Stele school formed yet another link between past and present in its approach to tradition, in which seal and clerical script became sources of innovation in Chinese calligraphy.

Last Update: 2017-09-20