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Monet's masterpieces to go on display tomorrow (with photos)

     The opening ceremony of "Claude Monet: The Spirit of Place", the major exhibition presented this year by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, was held today (May 3). Officiating at the opening ceremony was the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam.

     The other officiating guests were the Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Mr Eric Berti; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Le French May, Dr Andrew Yuen; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Michelle Li.

     The exhibition, which will run from tomorrow (May 4) to July 11, is the largest thematic exhibition of paintings by Monet, the master of Impressionism, ever held in Hong Kong. The exhibition features 17 artworks, including some of Monet's very emblematic masterpieces conserved in French public collections, presenting the spirit of place and the artist's legacy through the imperceptible differences captured over hours, days and seasons.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mrs Lam said that the exhibition is one of the highlights of this year's Le French May Arts Festival. She said, "Claude Monet was not only one of the greatest landscape artists in the history of painting, but also a prominent figure of French Impressionism in the 19th century. We are delighted to have the privilege and honour to showcase 17 splendid and emblematic landscape paintings of Monet, assembled from 11 museums in France and private collections, in this exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum."

     Jointly presented by Le French May Arts Festival and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, this exhibition will bring visitors a rare opportunity to view great works of art by world-class painters, just like the "Picasso - Masterpieces from Musée National Picasso, Paris" Exhibition held four years ago.

     Mrs Lam also said that the concerted efforts of the community over the years had successfully enabled the art scene in Hong Kong to flourish. She believed the Government's on-going initiatives would provide Hong Kong with more first-rate gallery space for hosting local and international exhibitions.

     The Impressionist master Claude Monet (1840-1926) is regarded as one of the greatest landscape artists in the history of Western art. During an artistic journey of nearly 70 years he tirelessly depicted the essence and spirit of different landscapes. The breathtaking coastline of Normandy and the idyllic landscape along the Seine inspired Monet to develop his distinct style, departing from tradition and the mundane. The emphatic treatment of colour, fleeting light and shadow in his works paved the way for modern art in the 20th century.

     The exhibition showcases Monet's paintings of places in four sections, which are: Normandy and Brittany; Paris and the Île-de-France region; London and Venice; and Giverny's famous water lily garden. Each section features an audio-visual and multimedia display, enabling visitors to follow the footprints of Monet and feel the natural beauty and spirit of place conveyed by his brushstrokes. Exhibits include "Water Lilies", "Effect of Spring, Giverny" and "The Break-up of the Ice at Vétheuil, facing Lavacourt".

     In the exhibition's education zone, reconstructed scenes are set up to resemble various spots in Monet's home in Giverny, a small town in France, including his living room, dining room, studio and garden. The setting will enable visitors to have a more comprehensive understanding of Monet's life, the way he lived, and his works of art. Multimedia technologies are being applied to reconstruct the famous garden and water lily pond for special visual impact.

     To tie in with the exhibition, the museum will also organise a wide array of special programmes, including a series of talks, drawing and sand painting workshops, school educational activities, community integration events and fun tours, through which visitors can understand and appreciate the works of Monet from different perspectives.

     The exhibition is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Le French May, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais, with major sponsorship from Mr and Mrs Cheung Chung-kiu, and major support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The exhibition is also supported by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau.

     The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. For details of the exhibition and related programmes, please visit the website at or call 2180 8188 for enquiries.

Ends/Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 22:02


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