Palace Museum stage cross-strait exhibition

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Thirty-seven pieces of art from Beijing's Palace Museum and the Museum of Shanghai will go on exhibition at the Taipei Palace Museum in October. For the first time, treasures across the Straits will reunite after 60 years of separation.

Harmony and Integrity, Emperor Yongzheng and His Times provides a complete narrative of the life, administration, and achievements in art and culture of the Yongzheng Emperor (1678-1735).

There are all together 246 sets of objects on show at the Taipei Palace Museum. They include 37 loans from the Beijing Palace Museum and two from the Museum of Shanghai. The loans were sealed in a wooden case in a ceremony on Tuesday morning, a formal preparation for the journey.

Among the stellar exhibits from the Beijing branch are the Yongzheng Portrait in Court Attire, which depicts a sitting Yongzheng ready to receive courtiers. Also, there is a picture of a beauty in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) wearing the ethnic costumes in Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), which according to experts denotes a hidden attraction from the ruling Manchurians for the Han culture. And there's a picture of Yongzheng wearing a wig and western clothes, ready to hunt a tiger.

Yongzheng ruled for a short thirteen years. In history, it was only a brief transition. Yet his administration provided an efficient and vigorous link to the long rule of the Kangxi Emperor (1654-1722) and another lengthy and magnificent era under the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799). In fact, he had the phrase "Being an Emperor is hard" carved on a stone seal to act as a constant reminder of the responsibility for ruling a country.

Exhibits from Taipei, including Yongzheng's imperial decrees, inkstones, porcelain bowls and a painting by famous Italian painter Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), known for his Chinese name Lang Shi'ning . They shed spotlight on the diligent emperors and their refined and lofty taste in art.

Fung Mingchu, deputy curator of the Taipei Palace Museum, said, "The exhibition should be considered a hallmark in Cross-Straits exchanges. "

The exhibition is also made possible by the Yuanta Cultural and Educational Foundation. The organization has been collecting and researching Chinese arts and crafts for decades. Vincent Lin, Chief Executive of Yuanta Cultural and Educational Foundation said that they are glad to push forward this historical exchange.

The historical exhibition opens at the Taipei Palace Museum on October 7, this year, and will conclude on January 10, 2010.

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