Presenting the innovative “Art Beyond Walls” journey to promote Chinese art and culture

The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM or the Museum) will participate in the Hong Kong Book Fair 2021 (Book Fair) for the first time. The Museum will create a thematic Creative Learning Zone at the Book Fair to invite visitors to take an innovative and immersive virtual journey into “Art Beyond Walls”. The HKPM will also present three public talks by leading scholars, promoting the art and culture of the Palace Museum while fostering public understanding of the new museum, scheduled to open in mid-2022. 

Curated by the HKPM Learning and Engagement Team, “Art Beyond Walls” is a virtual journey that transcends space and time and sparks the public’s imagination through exploring the halls and corridors of the Forbidden City as well as the architecture and exhibitions of the HKPM. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the Palace Museum and its fascinating stories from a variety of perspectives, and will discover the cultural significance of its rich collection and grand architecture in a contemporary context. By integrating onsite and online learning experiences, the HKPM aims to inspire the public to explore the uniqueness of Chinese art and culture through an innovative edutainment experience. Visitors can visit the “Art Beyond Walls” Creative Learning Zone and use a Web App to embark on their virtual journeys with mobile phones. In addition, they can enjoy a digital “Infinity Wall” art installation onsite at the Book Fair.

Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of the HKPM, said, “The Hong Kong Palace Museum is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese art and culture, while advancing dialogue between world civilisations. We proactively organise various educational programmes to strengthen connections with the community and promote innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration, fostering public interest in appreciating art and culture. ‘Art Beyond Walls’ is part of the HKPM’s pre-opening public programmes. Upon the grand opening, we will offer a diverse range of learning programmes and activities through our creative programming, school partnerships, and community engagement, as well as experimental programmes at the Learning Centre of the HKPM.”

During the Book Fair, the Museum’s Deputy Director and curators will present three public talks that will bring to life fascinating stories about the art and culture of the Palace Museum. Topics include Chinese food culture (Talk One: Snacks and Light Meals: Compartmented Food Vessels), historical events that involve important cultural relics (Talk Two: Astronomical Instruments, Diplomacy, and the Scientific Community: The Looting and Return of Instruments from the Peking Ancient Observatory), and a preview of the HKPM’s 2022 opening exhibitions (Talk Three: Palace Treasures in a New Light: Opening Exhibitions at the Hong Kong Palace Museum). The public can register for the talks for free via the Book Fair’s website or onsite at the Book Fair on a first-come, first-served basis.

Appendix

"Art Beyond Walls" Creative Learning Zone

Date 14–20 July 2021
Time 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (14, 15, 18, 19 July)
10:00 am – 11:00 pm (16, 17 July)
9:00 am – 5:00 pm (20 July)
Venue Entrance of Hall 3C in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Introduction Curated by the HKPM Learning and Engagement Team, the “Art Beyond Walls” Creative Learning Zone encourages the public to explore the art and culture of the Palace Museum. By integrating onsite and online innovative learning experiences, the HKPM aims to inspire the public to explore the uniqueness of Chinese art and culture through this edutainment experience. Visitors can visit the Creative Learning Zone to start the “Art Beyond Walls” virtual journey through a Web App. They can also enjoy the digital “Infinity Wall” art installation onsite while exploring the “Art Beyond Walls” virtual world. Starting from 14 July, those who cannot visit in person can log onto the “Art Beyond Walls” website (artbeyondwalls.hkpm.org.hk) to embark on this virtual journey.

Public Talks

Talk 1 Snacks and Light Meals: Compartmented Food Vessels
Speaker Dr Nicole CHIANG, Curator, Hong Kong Palace Museum
Date & Time 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, 15 July 2021
Introduction Characterised by their segmented interiors, compartmented food vessels are often used today as packages for sweets, trays for snacks consumed during the Lunar New Year, or as boxes for Japanese food.  This type of food vessel first appeared in the Lingnan region during the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE–8 CE) and gradually spread to the rest of China and neighbouring countries.  Made from a wide range of materials in various designs, exploring these objects reveals much about eating practices in ancient China.
Talk 2 Astronomical Instruments, Diplomacy, and the Scientific Community: The Looting and Return of Instruments from the Peking Ancient Observatory
Speaker Dr CHOU Wei Chiang, Curator, Hong Kong Palace Museum
Time 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, 16 July 2021
Introduction Among the plunder of Chinese cultural relics by foreigners in modern history, the story of the looting and return of astronomical instruments from the Peking Ancient Observatory in 1900 is perhaps the most dramatic. Despite years of research, much uncertainty still surrounds this complex international incident. This talk explores the incident using recently discovered details from historical archives and newspapers, a hundred years after the return of the instruments to China.
Talk 3 Palace Treasures in a New Light: Opening Exhibitions at the Hong Kong Palace Museum
Speaker Dr Daisy Yiyou WANG, Deputy Director, Hong Kong Palace Museum, and Dr Tianlong JIAO, Head Curator, Hong Kong Palace Museum
Time 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, 17 July 2021
Introduction Located in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Hong Kong Palace Museum is scheduled to open in mid-2022. Embracing new curatorial approaches, the Museum will present the finest objects from the Palace Museum (also known as the Forbidden City) and other leading cultural institutions around the world.  This talk is a preview of the Museum’s opening exhibitions, featuring nearly 1,000 stunning treasures from the Forbidden City.

Remarks

About the Hong Kong Palace Museum
The Hong Kong Palace Museum aspires to become one of the world’s leading cultural institutions committed to the study and appreciation of Chinese art and culture, while advancing dialogue between world civilisations through international partnerships. Located at the western tip of the West Kowloon Cultural District, with sweeping views of the city’s iconic Victoria Harbour, the Museum is scheduled to open in mid-2022. Embracing new curatorial approaches, the Museum will offer a Hong Kong perspective and a global vision, presenting the finest objects from the Palace Museum and other leading cultural institutions around the world. It is a collaborative project between the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Palace Museum. The capital cost of the Museum is fully funded by a donation of HK$3.5 billion from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.