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Sun Museum opens "Celestial Cases: Antique Boxes of China" exhibition
Visitor at the “Celestial Cases: Antique Boxes of China” exhibition.


HONG KONG.- Sun Museum will present the captioned exhibition from 5 September to 2 December 2017. A selection of 87 exquisite boxes of the Han and Qing dynasties, on loan from local private collectors, is the first display of its kind in Hong Kong. The exhibition is supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Chinese Temples Committee and Park Hotel Property Management Limited.

The boxes vary in shape ranging from the orthodox circular, square to the extraordinary, viz. clamshell, duck and tree trunk. Materials used are dazzling: wood, lacquer, porcelain, bamboo, ivory, rhinoceros horn and white jade.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, these decorative boxes of carved ivory, silver chased, enameled metal, and gold painted were used as containers for seal paste, visiting cards, book and food. They were also used by women for cosmetic powder, jewelry and by the upper class as snuff bottles the latter becoming popular as gifts.

The smallest exhibit is a 3.3 cm circular box with a round lid from the Qing dynasty. Another of 8.2 cm peach-shaped box even contains three figurines for Blessing-Prosperity-Longevity! The largest, late Ming to early Qing, is a 50.5 cm Zitan box for books.

Decorations are meticulous, conveying themes of children at play and God’s blessings with symbols of dragon and phoenix.

“Boxes reveal the achievement of Chinese traditional craftsmanship, social development and artistic ideologies of different periods. Multiple meanings can be detected in every single piece, making this exhibition exciting,” said Mr. Yeung Chun-tong, Director of Sun Museum.

“I would like to extend our earnest gratitude to all collectors for generously lending us precious items, enabling the first local antique boxes exhibition to be held here. As we appreciate the details, we capture the history of Chinese social development of those times,” said Ms. Chloe Suen, Chair of the Simon Suen Foundation.

At the exhibition, Museum collection of 22 pieces of local oil-painting as well as 30 landscape paintings from local artist Tsui Chee Kui Joseph will simultaneously be displayed at the galleries.





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