What is a “masterpiece”? What are the factors that contribute to its birth? The Palace Museum, Taipei houses a rich collection of masterpieces, many of which are signature works of prominent calligraphers and painters and iconic works in Chinese art history. Closely related to the artists’ lives and experiences, they have been prized, preserved, and promoted by generations of the imperial family or private connoisseurs and collectors. The private collections of the Qing emperors have been shared with the public since the establishment of the Palace Museum. These factors have contributed to the status of these works as masterpieces. Through the collecting, research, exhibition, and educational initiatives of the modern museum, they have been the subjects of scholarly research and have become widely known to the public. Focusing on the calligraphy piece On Szechwan Silk by Mi Fu, one of the four masters of the Northern Song dynasty, in the collection of the Palace Museum, Taipei, this lecture examines the key factors in the birth of a masterpiece. Topics explored include the contents of this calligraphy work, the history of its production and transmission, as well as the exhibition, research, and publication initiatives that advance our understanding of these significant works.

Putonghua, with simultaneous interpretation in English and Cantonese, no subtitles are available

8 May 2021 (Saturday)


Event Platform:

Ho Chuan-Hsing, Former Deputy Director, Palace Museum, Taipei

Free admission



  • The event schedule may be subject to change. The organiser reserves the right to change the programme.
  • The lecture will only be live streamed on the day. Lecture recording will not be available.

About the Speaker:

Ho Chuan-Hsing, Former Deputy Director, Palace Museum, Taipei

Courtesy of Ho Chuan-Hsing

Mr Ho Chuan-Hsing joined the Palace Museum, Taipei in 1983, working as Curator and, later, Director of the Department of Painting and Calligraphy. From 2012 to 2016 he served as Incumbent General-affairs Deputy Director. He specializes in the history of Chinese painting and calligraphy, research in painting and calligraphy connoisseurship, and exhibition curation. He has curated and contributed to exhibitions including Emperor’s Treasures: Chinese Art from the Palace Museum, Taipei (San Francisco, 2016), The Ten Premiering Exhibitions of Palace Museum, Taipei, Southern Branch, Treasured Masterpieces from the Palace Museum, Taipei (Tokyo, Kyushu, 2014), The All Complete Qianlong: A Special Exhibition on the Aesthetic Tastes of the Qing Emperor Gaozong (2013), Dwelling in the Fu-ch’un Mountains (Wu-yung Version) (2011), Dynastic Renaissance Art and Culture of Southern Song (2010), Masterpieces of Chin and T’ang Dynasty Calligraphy (2008), and Grand View: Special Exhibition of Northern Sung Painting and Calligraphy (2007). In 2016 he published a monograph, titled The Birth of Masterpieces: The Collection, Research, and Exhibition of Palace Museum’s Painting and Calligraphy, in which he explored masterpieces from the perspectives of “Fate, Fortune, and Calligraphy of Scholars”, “Tastes of the Emperors”, and “Discussions about Special Exhibitions”.

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