University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of The University of Hong Kong was founded in 1953 as the Fung Ping Shan Museum. Originally established as the Fung Ping Shan Library of Chinese language publications in 1932 in honour of its benefactor, the building became a museum dedicated to collecting Chinese art when the University's libraries consolidated. The museum was renamed UMAG in 1994, shortly before its new wing was opened to the public in 1996. It is the oldest continuously operated museum in Hong Kong and  over the past sixty years it has built up a diverse collection of ceramics and bronzes dating from the Neolithic period (c. 7000–c. 2100 BCE) to the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), as well as traditional and modern paintings from the Ming (1368–1644) to the twenty-first century.

Chief among the collections are the Museum's ceramics, which show the extraordinary achievements of the Chinese potter from Neolithic period painted pottery jars, to the decorative porcelains of the Qing dynasty. Among the early wares are examples of funerary pottery dating from the Han (206 BCE–220 CE) to the Tang dynasties (618–907), which include lead-glazed models and vessels, as well as tri-coloured (sancai) ceramics. Throughout Chinese history, ceramics have been traded and admired outside of China. Of these, green ware, particularly Yue and celadon, which were sought after in Southeast Asia and Korea, and the development of blue-and-white porcelains, which were made for the Islamic market and popular in Europe, have been the most influential pieces and are well-represented in the Museum's collection. Of particular note is one of the earliest known examples of underglaze-blue decoration in the form of a small tripod water pot dating to the Tang dynasty. The Museum also has representative examples of work made by the famous Song (960–1279) kilns, such as those of Ding and Cizhou, and mono- and polychrome decorated ware from the Ming and Qing dynasties. 

Other highlights of the collection are the Museum's Chinese bronzes that include ritual vessels dating to the Shang (c. 1600–c. 1100 BCE) and Western Zhou (c.1100–771 BCE) periods, and a comprehensive collection of mirrors dating from the Eastern Zhou (770–256 BCE) period to the Tang dynasty. The Museum also contains the largest known collection of Mongol period (Yuan dynasty 1271–1368) Nestorian crosses in the world. In addition to its collection of carvings in jade, wood and stone, the Museum has a small but significant collection of Chinese ink painting dating from the Ming dynasty to the present and twentieth-century Chinese oil painting. 

In addition to these permanent collections, UMAG regularly hosts exhibitions of contemporary and ancient Chinese and Western art, as well as on early Hong Kong history. The Museum was originally established as a teaching museum and has maintained this commitment to the University through the teaching of Chinese art and museum studies and by encouraging students to broaden their education through the arts. It regularly presents non-exhibition related talks and activities that are open to both the University's students and public. The Museum also endeavours to promote the knowledge of Chinese tea culture through its Tea Gallery, which is open to public.

Keywords: #UMAG-#HKU

Exhibitions and events

Nestorian Crosses of the Yuan Dynasty

Permanent exhibition

The University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Nestorian crosses were assembled by a Mr. F. A. Nixon who served as a British postal commissioner in Beijing in the 1930s and 1940s. Subsequently the collection...

FROM PARIS TO VENICE: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY BY WILLY RONIS

Temporary exhibition until 27.10.2019

The exhibition is now extended to October 27, 2019. “All the attention is fixed on a unique moment, almost too good to be true, which can evaporate in the next second and provokes a feeling that is...

LIVING KOGEI: CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE CRAFT FROM THE ISE COLLECTION

Temporary exhibition until 03.11.2019

The exhibition is now extended to November 3, 2019. The modern Japanese term for artisan crafts,  kogei  (pronounced ‘ko-gay’) refers to a form of highly skilled artistic expression...

[GUIDED VIEWING] GUIDED VIEWING OF "LIVING KOGEI: CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE CRAFT FROM THE ISE COLLECTION" WITH BEN CHIESA AND “FROM PARIS TO VENICE: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY BY WILLY RONIS” WITH DR. FLORIAN KNOTHE

Event on 21.09.2019 11:00

[GUIDED VIEWING AND LECTURE] Guided viewing of  Living Kogei: Contemporary Japanese Craft from the Ise Collection  with Ben Chiesa. Talk on  Hou Beiren and Splashed Ink – A Sideways...

[工作坊] 竹杯墊工作坊

Event on 21.09.2019 14:00

承接《鐵筆之藝術:明清竹雕》展覽,香港美術博物館現正舉辦《藝流不息:伊勢文化財團藏日本當代工藝》,除展出玻璃、漆器、陶瓷、金屬外,亦再度呈獻竹雕作品,從而由另一國度探視竹藝在不同地區的發展、精神和表現形式。 工作坊導師將會教授如何運用竹蔑和藤條編織杯墊。希望参加者透過手工製作,進一步了解竹的特性,體驗藝術源於生活的理念和創意。...

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