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NPM southern branch to open with jadeite cabbage display (update)

NPM southern branch to open with jadeite cabbage display (update)

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) The National Palace Museum (NPM)'s most popular item - the Jadeite Cabbage with Insects - will go on display at the trial opening of the museum's southern branch in Chiayi on Dec. 28. The Jadeite Cabbage with Insects, the NPM's signature piece, will be exhibited at the southern branch from Dec. 28 this year to Oct. 2, 2016, NPM Director Fung Ming-chu (???) announced during a media tour of the almost completed museum building in Chiayi. The jadeite carving, 18.7 cm long and 9.1 cm wide, is a Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) piece that was originally housed in Yonghe Palace in Beijing's Forbidden City. It is believed to have been a dowry gift for Guangxu Emperor's Consort Jin to symbolize purity and a fertility blessing, as a locust and katydid on the cabbage represent children. Another popular artifact, the "Meat-shaped Stone," will also be displayed at the southern branch, from Oct. 4, 2016, Fung said. The 5.73-centimeter tall Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) piece is made from banded jasper in the shape of braised pork belly. The jadeite cabbage and meat-shaped stone, which are currently housed at the NPM's main branch in Taipei, went on display in Japan last year, in their first overseas exhibitions. Meanwhile, to celebrate the trial opening of the southern branch, Fung said, free admission will be allowed for all visitors from Dec. 29 to March 31, 2016 and for visitors from Chiayi, Yunlin and Tainan from April 1 to June 30 next year. Construction of the southern branch museum is about 95 percent complete, Fung said. It will be a "museum of Asian art and culture," she said, adding that she hopes it will "shine on the international stage." Located in southern Chiayi County, the 70-hectare museum will collect, research, preserve and exhibit artifacts and relics from across Asia. The exterior of the museum bears images of dragons, elephants and horses that represent ancient Chinese, Indian and Persian civilizations, respectively. Wang Shih-sheng (???), director of the southern branch, said one of the advantages of the southern branch is that the showcases in the museum reach as tall as 7.2 meters, taller than any showcase in the Taipei branch. This allows the southern branch to display chorographic maps and Tibetan Buddhist Thangka paintings that cannot be exhibited in the Taipei branch due to their large size, Wang said. To mark the opening of the southern branch, Wang said her museum will also put together exhibitions on subjects such as Buddhist art, Asian textiles and clothing, ceramics art and Asian tea culture. Among the precious artworks to go on display include a ten-lobed lotus bowl from the Northern Song Period (960-1126); a Tibetan Buddhist sutra that is hand-written in gold ink and commissioned by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty in 1669; and a 15th century blue-and-white porcelain figure in the shape of a monkey king. Late next year, the Tokyo National Museum and the Kyushu National Museum will also jointly display 150 of their cultural artifacts, including 68 National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, at the southern branch, Fung said. The three-month exhibition is part of a historic exchange program between the two Japanese museums and the NPM. The National Palace Museum in Taipei houses over 600,000 pieces and has one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks in the world. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-20 21:33 GMT+08:00