Hong Kong Book Fair 2021: The Hong Kong Palace Museum “Art Beyond Walls”



The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) will participate in the Hong Kong Book Fair 2021 (Book Fair) for the first time. The Museum will create a thematic Creative Learning Zone at the Book Fair to invite visitors to take an innovative and immersive virtual journey into “Art Beyond Walls”. The HKPM will also present three public talks by leading scholars, promoting the art and culture of the Palace Museum while fostering public understanding of the new museum, scheduled to open in mid-2022.

Curated by the HKPM Learning and Engagement Team, “Art Beyond Walls” is a virtual journey that transcends space and time and sparks the public’s imagination through exploring the halls and corridors of the Forbidden City as well as the architecture and exhibitions of the HKPM. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about the Palace Museum and its fascinating stories from a variety of perspectives, and will discover the cultural significance of its rich collection and grand architecture in a contemporary context. By integrating onsite and online learning experiences, the HKPM aims to inspire the public to explore the uniqueness of Chinese art and culture through an innovative edutainment experience. Visitors can visit the “Art Beyond Walls” Creative Learning Zone and use a Web App to embark on their virtual journeys with mobile phones. In addition, they can enjoy a digital “Infinity Wall” art installation onsite at the Book Fair.

During the Book Fair, the Museum’s Deputy Director and curators will present three public talks that will bring to life fascinating stories about the art and culture of the Palace Museum. Topics include Chinese food culture (Talk One: Snacks and Light Meals: Compartmented Food Vessels), historical events that involve important cultural relics (Talk Two: Astronomical Instruments, Diplomacy, and the Scientific Community: The Looting and Return of Instruments from the Peking Ancient Observatory), and a preview of the HKPM’s 2022 opening exhibitions (Talk Three: Palace Treasures in a New Light: Opening Exhibitions at the Hong Kong Palace Museum). The public can register for the talks for free via the Book Fair’s website or onsite at the Book Fair on a first-come, first-served basis.



Hong Kong Book Fair 2021: The Hong Kong Palace Museum “Art Beyond Walls”

Talk 1: Snacks and Light Meals: Compartmented Food Vessels

Characterised by their segmented interiors, compartmented food vessels are often used today as packages for sweets, trays for snacks consumed during the Lunar New Year, or as boxes for Japanese food. This type of food vessel first appeared in the Lingnan region during the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE–8 CE) and gradually spread to the rest of China and neighbouring countries