CityU and the NPM explore the animal world using new media in their 3rd collaboration

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and the National Palace Museum (NPM) in Taipei are collaborating for the third time to present the “ANiMAL: Art Science Nature Society” exhibition, featuring animals from different historical eras. 

This unique exhibition brings to the public a fascinating blend of old and new, classical and modern, and traditional art and high-tech creative media. It joins the NPM’s rich Chinese painting and sculpture collections with some of the latest artistic media techniques developed at CityU’s School of Creative Media.  

“ANiMAL: Art Science Nature Society” showcases various representative animals from different eras, using ultra-high-resolution facsimiles of the NPM’s Chinese classical art treasury, digital and interactive installations, projection mapping, augmented and virtual reality, movies, photographs, sculptures, paintings and music. It includes works by more than 40 Chinese and international artists, including historical and contemporary pieces, and collaborative works from various galleries, collections and institutions. 

Also presented at the exhibition is One Health research from the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences at CityU, which shows the growing threats to animal life posed by climate change, environmental degradation, disease transmission, and other dangers. The exhibition inspires visitors to increase their respect for animal sentience. 

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the exhibition on 15 October were Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU, Dr Hsieh Chun-ko, Deputy Chief, Department of Education, Exhibition and Information Services of the NPM, and Professor Jeffrey Shaw, Chair Professor in the School of Creative Media and curator of the exhibition. 

In his welcome remarks, Professor Kuo said that CityU focuses on innovation and that this exhibition makes use of cutting-edge technology and multimedia arts to bring animals in ancient paintings alive to the audiences on the CityU campus. “CityU is also committed to promoting the concept of ‘One Health’,” he said. “This is the first time we have expressed this concept in an exhibition, which is of great significance.”

Dr Hsieh thanked CityU for creating 70 per cent of the exhibits, including the contemporary art works with animal themes, which provided new perspectives on the treasured collections of the NPM. “In addition to ‘One Health’, we support ‘One Treasure’, meaning sharing our cultural assets,” he said.

The exhibition is the third collaborative project between CityU and the NPM in Taipei, following the “Rebuilding the Tong-an Ships New Media Art Exhibition” in 2015 and the “Giuseppe Castiglione- Lang Shining New Media Art Exhibition” in 2016. 

Professor Shaw invited audiences to explore the animal world through the lenses of art, science, nature and society for a fascinating and inspiring experience. 

Amongst the many highlights are The Lion by Liu Chiu-Te, originally completed in the Qing dynasty; an immersive interactive theatre, called Marvels within the Sea, which illustrates Album of Sea Miscellany by Nie Huang, a biologist and painter from the Qing dynasty; and the 3D-printed bones of an Omura’s whale, which visitors can interact with. 

The narrative artery running through the exhibition’s five sections sets visitors off on a unique journey: (i) Encyclopaedia, compendia and scientific inquiry; (ii) Auspicious symbols and homophonic puns; (iii) Mythical creatures and bestiaries from fantasy to manufactory and the popular imaginary; (iv) The harmony and disharmonies of animals and nature; and (v) Contemporary art’s revisioning of animal identity.

Following its debut in Hong Kong, the ANiMAL exhibition will travel to Taichung City Seaport Art Centre in Taiwan from 26 January to 5 May 2019.

“ANiMAL” Exhibition details
Date:            16 October – 30 December 2018 (Open daily, except Mondays)
Time:            10am – 7pm  
Venue:           CityU Exhibition Gallery | 18/F, Lau Ming Wai Academic Building
Admission:    Free of charge
Exhibition in Taichung
Date:           26 January – 5 May 2019
Venue:        Taichung City Seaport Art Center | 43648 No.21, Zhongzhen Road, Qingshui District: Taichung City, Taiwan

A press kit with high resolution images can be downloaded from: 

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