Chinese art appreciation lectures warmly welcomed

Chen Longgen

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Lectures on appreciating masterpieces of Chinese painting and calligraphy, organized on 18 June by the Chinese Civilization Centre (CCIV) of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), met with enthusiastic responses from secondary school teachers and the public.

Professor Cheng Pei-kai, Director of the CCIV, delivered an opening address, welcoming the audience. He announced that a detailed description of the exhibition, provided by the Beijing Palace Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art, would be uploaded onto the CCIV website soon.

Mr Szeto Yuen-kit, Curator of Hong Kong Museum of Art (Xubaizhai Gallery), shared with the audience the stories behind arranging the exhibition, to be held in Hong Kong at the end of June. He went through the major exhibits one by one and gave a full account of the museum's preparation of this "once-in-a-lifetime" exhibition, including the design of the inside and outside of the museum.

Three scholars at the CCIV, Dr Marianne Wong Pui-yin, Dr Lisa Chui Lai-sha and Dr Hung Yeuk-chun, demonstrated how the masterpieces, such as Along the River during the Qingming Festival, The Xiao and Xiang Rivers and Preface to the Orchid Pavilion, could be used as teaching materials in art and culture classes to enhance appreciation of the masterpieces. Dr Ma Ka-fai, Assistant Director of CCIV, talked about teaching Chinese culture through the Internet.

The lectures were part of a range of activities initiated by the CCIV on teaching and learning art and culture. As a part of the series, CityU is holding an exhibition called Windows to "Pride of China"—How to Appreciate Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from 12 to 23 June. Initially on the covered terrace of the Academic Building, the exhibition is now outside the Wei Hing Theatre.

A poem writing competition will be organized by the CCIV and Hong Kong Museum of Art on any of the exhibited paintings from the Palace Museum. The results of the competition, sponsored by the Friends of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, will be announced in mid-September.

In the middle of July, five scholars coming for the "Pride of China" International Academic Lecture Series and Education & Extension Programmes at the Hong Kong Museum of Art will be invited to deliver talks on art-related subjects at CityU. They are Mr Yu Hui, Director of the Research Office of Palace Museum in Beijing; Mr Ho Chung-hsin, Researcher from the Palace Museum in Taipei; Professor Shih Shou-chian of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica in Taiwan; Professor Roderick Whitfield of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London; and Dr Yang Xiaoneng, Curator (Chinese Art) of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

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