Hong Kong Heritage Museum to showcase treasures from Dunhuang Caves (with photos)

     An exhibition featuring a selection of treasures from the Dunhuang Caves, "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Dunhuang: Enchanting Tales for Millennium", will be open to the public starting from tomorrow (August 24) at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (HKHM), enabling visitors to experience a deeper understanding of Dunhuang culture and art, and experience the worldly and heavenly aspirations of ancient forebears in their pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful in the Buddhism realm of Dunhuang. The exhibition will showcase 50 exhibits, including artefacts, reproductions of silk paintings, and a replica cave spanning over 1 000 years from the Northern Wei period to the Ming dynasty. In addition, over 100 murals are highlighted from more than 60 Dunhuang Caves, featuring a multitude of themes and artistic styles that traverse dynasties and geographical regions.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony today (August 23), the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, said, "It is a great honor for the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to jointly organise a large-scale exhibition with the Dunhuang Academy for the third time. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Dunhuang Academy jointly planned this exhibition to bring the precious artefacts and cave stories of Dunhuang to Hong Kong, so the community can share the peace and wisdom embedded in the Dunhuang treasures".

     Other officiating guests included the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), Mr Philip Chen; the Chairman of the Museum Advisory Committee, Mr Stanley Wong; Vice Chairperson of the Friends of Dunhuang (Hong Kong) Ms Lee Mei-yin; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Vincent Liu; and the Museum Director of the HKHM, Ms Fione Lo. The Director of the Dunhuang Academy, Dr Su Bomin, also delivered a speech online during the ceremony. 

     The Dunhuang Caves are a world-renowned repository of the Buddhist art relics. Graced by magnificent murals and vivid sculptures, they offer the world a rare glimpse of the spiritual and everyday life in ancient China. Following the "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Dunhuang: Untold Tales, Untold Riches" exhibition in 2014 and the "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Digital Dunhuang - Tales of Heaven and Earth" exhibition in 2018, the HKHM has collaborated with the Dunhuang Academy for the third time to present this new exhibition "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Dunhuang: Enchanting Tales for Millennium". Showcasing artefacts, murals, reproductions of silk paintings and a replica of Yulin Cave 25 through the lens of history, art and technology with highlights of art-tech and multimedia displays, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey transcending time and space to explore the wonders of Dunhuang Caves.

     Highlight exhibits include a 1:1 replica of Yulin Cave 25, which exemplifies the finest of cave murals. Built in the mid Tang dynasty, the Yulin Caves come only second to the Mogao Caves in terms of scale among the Dunhuang Caves. In particular, Yulin Cave 25 is one of the exceptional few constructed during the early years of Tibetan rule in Guazhou. The cave inherits the finest artistic style of the high Tang, while bringing new exotic flavours from the Tibetan culture. It is graced with a rich array of magnificent murals with vivid depictions and vibrant colours, making it an unusual blend among similar caves of its times. Other precious Dunhuang exhibits include illustrations of the "Sutra of the Medicine Buddha" of Mogao Cave 148; a painted gilt-bronze head of Mahavairocana and the reproduction of silk painting "Eleven-faced Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha with the Ten Kings of Hell".

     The curatorial team of the HKHM has enriched the exhibition with several art-tech elements. They include the immersive digital programme featuring the illustration of the "Sutra of the Profundity of Filial Love", a silk painting dated from the Northern Song dynasty and discovered in Mogao Cave 17. It depicts the passage of parenthood in raising offspring as a tribute to filial piety. Also highlighted is another immersive digital display, "Somewhere Out There", which enables visitors to take a closer look at a selection of landscape scenes extracted from classic murals from an aesthetic perspective, to explore the ancient aspiration for man and nature living in harmony.

     The exhibition is one of the programmes celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. It will run from August 24 to November 21 at the HKHM (1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin). For details of the exhibition and admission arrangements, please visit the website at hk.heritage.museum/en_US/web/hm/exhibitions/data/exid272.html or call 2180 8188 for enquiries.

     The exhibition is jointly presented by the LCSD and the Dunhuang Academy, jointly organised by the HKHM and the Dunhuang Academy and supported by the Friends of Dunhuang (Hong Kong).

     The exhibition is under the exclusive sponsorship of the HKJC, and is one of the many initiatives supported by the HKJC's approved donation of $630 million to the HKSAR Government to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, demonstrating that the HKJC is resolute in pursuing its purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of society, all in support of creating stronger communities together.

     In order to comply with the requirements stipulated in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, visitors are required to scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" venue QR code with their mobile phones/other mobile devices before being allowed to enter the museum for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. In accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, all persons entering indoor venues under the management of the LCSD must comply with the relevant requirements of the Vaccine Pass. According to the latest requirement on Vaccine Pass announced by the Government, all persons with their Vaccine Pass QR codes displayed in red or amber are not allowed to enter museums under the management of the LCSD.

Ends/Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Issued at HKT 21:23