Flower Vessels from the Palace Museum

17/12/2016 - 12/3/2017     Macao Museum of Art    

Jointly organised by the Macao Museum of Art (MAM) under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, the Palace Museum, the Macao Foundation, the Macao Government Tourist Office and the Macao Daily News, the exhibition “Flower Vessels from the Palace Museum” marks the 18th cooperation between the Macao Museum of Arts and the Palace Museum. Over 100 sets of precious vessels from the Palace Museum closely related to life and the arts will be displayed in this exhibition. In addition, authentic paintings will be exhibited corresponding to the vessels. These paintings demonstrate the usage, styles and taste of various precious vessels from the Palace and the elegance of flowers in the Qing Dynasty.

The art of Chinese flower arrangement has a long history. The oldest flower vases known are from the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern dynasties (220-589), later developing through the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The use and style of Qing imperial vessels assimilate the essence of the ancient and modern. Not only do the Qing imperial vessels preserve the tradition of religious offering and retain the Chinese intellectuals’ elegant taste but they also develop their own refined characteristics. This exhibition features the history of the development of flower vessels. Visitors can appreciate all kinds of flower vessels from different perspectives while understanding the flower arrangement taste of emperors and empresses such as Emperor Qianlong and Empress Dowager Cixi.

This exhibition is divided into three units with six themes, including (1) Functions: “Offering Sacrifice with Fragrant Flowers” and “Leisure Time Enjoyment” in which vessels for planting flowers used in Buddhist ceremonies and ancestors worshiping, and those used for enjoyment in libraries, boudoirs, sitting rooms and yards, among others, are displayed; (2) Styles: “Flower Arrangement and Potted Landscapes” and “Appreciation of Antiquities and Pursuit of Innovation”, in which vessels of different textures for flower arrangement and potted landscapes, and relics used in the Qing imperial palace are displayed; (3) Tastes: “The Great Emperor Qianlong” and “The Elegant Empress Dowager Cixi”, in which calligraphies and paintings by Emperor Qianlong and Empress Cixi, including poems in praise of flower vessels made by imperial order and flower vessels used in the “Da Ya Zhai” (Elegant Studio) and the “Ti He Dian” (Hall of State Harmony) are displayed.

The exhibition “Flower Vessels from the Palace Museum” will be open until 12 March 2017, on the 4th floor of MAM, located at Avenida Xian Xing Hai, NAPE, Macao. The Museum is open from 10am to 7pm (no admission after 6:30pm; closed on Mondays). For details about the exhibition, please visit https://www.MAM.gov.mo. For enquiries, please call IC through tel. no. 8791 9814 during office hours.

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