Exhibition “The Forbidden City and Maritime Silk Road” opens Featuring over a hundred of cultural relics to showcase the beauty of the flourishing age

Blue-and-white lidded soup bowl with double ears, decorated in floral motifs

The Macao Museum of Art (MAM), under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from its Portuguese acronym), and the Palace Museum will jointly present the second phase of “The Long Journey” mega exhibition series, namely “The Long Journey: The Forbidden City and Maritime Silk Road” and “Cultural and Creative Products from the Palace Museum and Education Area”, at the MAM from 11am on 11 January 2020. By displaying the rich collections of cultural relics in a variety of ways, these exhibitions will lead visitors to reminisce on the boom in cultural exchange which occurred between the East and the West, and appreciate the extraordinary significance of mutual learning among civilizations and people-to-people bonds.

The exhibition “The Long Journey: The Forbidden City and Maritime Silk Road” at the Exhibition Gallery on the fourth floor of the MAM is divided into three sections, namely “Crossing the Oceans”, “Bringing Western Influence to the East” and “Eclecticism”, featuring a total of nearly 150 exquisite cultural relics from the collection of the Palace Museum, including porcelains, scientific instruments, timepieces, daily-use items, enamelled pieces, calligraphic works, paintings and textiles related to the Maritime Silk Road. These cultural relics are mostly tributes presented by foreign envoys, gifts and objects brought by the Western missionaries, and calligraphy and paintings actually produced in the court by these missionaries, as well as various goods purchased by or custom-made for the court, or produced by imperial or provincial workshops by imitating and creatively adapting imported products, in addition to items from the MAM collection. All of them highlight fruitful achievements of the Ming and Qing courts’ exchange and interactions with the outside world and suggest the significant role of Macao as a former international entrepot in the Far East, while illustrating the splendour of the Forbidden City in fine contrast with other cultures along the Maritime Silk Road.

The exhibition “Cultural and Creative Products from the Palace Museum and Education Area” on the 3rd floor gallery of the MAM will showcase the culture of the Forbidden City from different perspectives, familiarising the public with the cultural relics. Featuring the cultural and creative products inspired by and bearing the intrinsic cultural value of the Palace Museum collection, the exhibition seeks to rejuvenate traditional culture while introducing visitors to the trade and artistic exchange which ensued along the Maritime Silk Road and revealing the court life and its culture. By showing different aspects such as the Forbidden City buildings, court robes and court beads, ocean and astronomy-related cultural relics and objects used in the Forbidden City, timepieces, 24 solar terms and court life, the education area of the exhibition will give visitors an understanding of the Forbidden City culture behind its red walls and yellow tiles.

“The Long Journey” mega exhibition series is the Forbidden City themed exhibition with the richest contents over the past two decades since the establishment of the MAM. “A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains 3.0”, as the first phase of the series, presents the masterpiece vividly in the form of a dynamic digital scroll and has gained public popularity since its inauguration in December 2019. To enhance public interest in the upcoming exhibitions, MAM hosted a number of preliminary activities in early January such as “The Mystery behind Sundial Timekeeping”, “Timepiece Craftsmanship” and “Western Influence on the Qing Dynasty Court Painting” under the two series “Classroom: Know More about the Forbidden City” and “Lectures by Experts from the Palace Museum”, which drew in a huge attendance from the public and were met with great enthusiasm. More exciting activities including audio guide services and prize games will be rolled out for the exhibitions.

The exhibitions are organized by the Macao Museum of Art and the Palace Museum, co-organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office and the Macao Foundation, and supported by the Macao Daily News. For more information, please visit the MAM website at www.MAM.gov.mo. The MAM, located on Avenida Xian Xing Hai, NAPE, is open daily from 10am to 7pm (no admission after 6:30pm) including public holidays and closed on Mondays. For enquiries, please contact the MAM through (853) 8791 9814 during opening hours.

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