Weaving a pictorial history of Chinese textiles Pictorial Silks: Chinese Textiles from UMAG Collection

Pictorial Silks: Chinese Textiles from the UMAG Collection


Orioles and magnolias
China
Late 19th or mid-20th century
Kesi (silk tapestry)
Hanging scroll
120 x 47.5 cm
Gift of Dr Lam Kwok Pun
HKU.T.2008.1675
Image Courtesy of the University Museum and Art Gallery, HKU

Orioles and magnolias

China

Late 19th or mid-20th century

Kesi (silk tapestry)

Hanging scroll

120 x 47.5 cm

Gift of Dr Lam Kwok Pun

HKU.T.2008.1675

Image Courtesy of the University Museum and Art Gallery, HKU

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will present Pictorial Silks: Chinese Textiles from the UMAG Collection from December 2, 2020 to March 14, 2021. Prized by Chinese and foreign merchants as an essential commodity along a vast trade network, silk served multiple roles throughout the ancient world: as fabric for garments, as a form of currency and method of tax payment, and as a medium and subject matter for professional artists and the literati class. Over the centuries, silk fabrics have remained synonymous with beauty and are entwined throughout the history of Chinese art and literature.

Beginning in the Song dynasty (960 -1279) and flourishing into the Qing (1644 -1911), craftsmen took up shuttles and needles as their brushes and silk threads as their pigments, creating exquisitely woven and embroidered pictorial and calligraphic works. In the hands of the weavers and embroiderers, weft-woven silk tapestry (kesi) and embroidery (cixiu) evolved into an art form—a fusion of painting, calligraphy and hand weaving or embroidering for aesthetic appreciation. When viewed together, the interdisciplinary nature of these vivid depictions of images and text occupy a unique and unbroken place within the history of Chinese visual culture.

Extending from the Qing dynasty to the mid-20th century, UMAG’s silk textile collection encompasses a diverse range of subjects and formats that include hanging scrolls, framed panels, banners and robes. Each artwork exemplifies the sophisticated craftsmanship of the artisans and the collective stories of the Qing dynasty’s textile industry.

For more images and captions of the exhibits, please click here.

Details of the Exhibition

Period: December 2, 2020 (Wednesday) to March 14, 2021 (Sunday)

Opening Hours:

9:30 pm – 6:00 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Sunday)

Closed on Mondays, University and Public Holidays

Venue: 1/F – 2/F Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.