Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) and the Liechtenstein Princely Collections to showcase over 120 masterpieces from the renowned Liechtenstein Princely Collections, new exhibition reinforces HKPM’s mission to advance dialogue among world civilisations
The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), Hong Kong’s new cultural landmark in the West Kowloon Cultural District, joined the renowned Liechtenstein Princely Collections (the Princely Collections) today to unveil the special exhibition “Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein”. With LGT Private Banking (LGT) as Principal Sponsor, this is the first-ever showcase of Liechtenstein’s quadricentennial collection in Hong Kong, featuring more than 120 masterpieces from the Collections that highlight the Princes’ collecting practices, the achievement of some of the most celebrated European artists, and the cultural dialogue between European and Chinese art and architecture. The exhibition will be open to the public from tomorrow (9 November 2022) until 20 February 2023.
The official opening ceremony was held at the HKPM today, officiated by John KC Lee, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR); H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II, Reigning Prince of the House of Liechtenstein and Head of State of the Principality of Liechtenstein; H.S.H. Princess Adelheid Coudenhove-Kalergi, Board Member of LGT Private Banking; Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of the HKSAR Government; Henry Tang, Chairman of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WCKDA) Board; Winnie Tam, Chairman of the HKPM Board; Dr Henri Leimer, Chief Executive Officer, LGT Private Banking Asia Pacific; Dr Johann Kräftner, Director of the Princely Collections; Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of the WKCDA and Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of HKPM.
John KC Lee, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said: “This is the first time the Liechtenstein Princely Collections are displayed in Hong Kong, after its successful tours at the National Museum of China in Beijing and other major museums around the world. The exhibition is staged at a most fitting juncture, as Hong Kong embarks on its new mission to develop into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, a positioning supported by the National 14th Five-Year Plan. We endeavour to foster the exchange across civilisations, and tell the captivating stories of Hong Kong and our motherland in the global arena.”
H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II, Reigning Prince of the House of Liechtenstein and Head of State of the Principality of Liechtenstein, said: “The Liechtenstein Princely Collections represent the Princely Family's generational values of tradition, high quality investment, conservation and sharing of values as passionate art collectors and art patrons. We are honoured to have the support of the Hong Kong Government to jointly present my family's private art collections with the Hong Kong Palace Museum to the people of Hong Kong and visitors from around the region. We hope this landmark exhibition which showcases the unique early cultural exchanges across East and West will continue to foster mutual understanding and dialogue across cultures and generations.”
Dr Louis Ng, Museum Director of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, said: “The Liechtenstein Princely Collections are one of the world’s most important art collections and carry a profound artistic and cultural significance. As the first special exhibition to take place at the HKPM after its opening exhibitions, ‘Odysseys of Art’ paints an inspiring picture of the dialogue between Eastern and European cultures over the past centuries. The exhibition is a striking testament to HKPM’s commitment to advancing dialogue among world civilisations while reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a centre for East-meets-West international cultural exchange. We look forward to welcoming visitors to experience the magnificence of Liechtenstein’s quadricentennial collection.”
Dr Johann Kräftner, Director of the Princely Collections, said: "With generous support from LGT, many of our priceless treasures have been exhibited internationally in the world's most important museums, and we are happy to partner with the Hong Kong Palace Museum to share these rare treasures in Hong Kong. The Liechtenstein Princely Collections have been expanding for more than five hundred years and are still growing. Through these stunning works, we hope visitors will discover the passion for art and the collecting practices and values of the Princes of Liechtenstein."
The largest display of works by Rubens and Van Dyck in Hong Kong
The prestigious collections of the Princes of Liechtenstein were established over the last four centuries. They rank among the largest and most important art collections in the world, containing major works of European art spanning five centuries. Co-curated by experts from the HKPM and the Liechtenstein Princely Collections, the exhibition is divided into eight thematic sections and showcases 124 representative masterpieces, including paintings, prints, tapestries, sculptures, and decorative art objects. They were selected from more than 30,000 works of art in the Collections.
The exhibition casts a new light on the Princely House of Liechtenstein’s history of art collecting, spotlighting five princes whose passion for art shaped the Collections. Each of the featured princes enriched the Collections through their unique interest in and approach to art collecting. Through the Chinese ceramics the princes collected and the gardens they commissioned, visitors can explore the influence of Chinese art and culture on European decorative arts and architecture.
Among the treasures on display at the HKPM are paintings by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), two of the most distinguished 17th-century artists of the baroque period. They left a rich cultural legacy through their powerful and expressive paintings, characterised by their vibrant palettes and dynamic compositions. A total of 36 major works by the two masters will be presented at the exhibition, making it by far the largest assemblage of these masterpieces ever to have been displayed in Hong Kong.
To complement the exhibition, two thematic talks by curators of the exhibition will be held in November 2022 and January 2023 to introduce the House of Liechtenstein’s unique approach to art collecting, as well as the historical ties between China and the West in arts and culture.
About the Hong Kong Palace Museum
The Hong Kong Palace Museum aspires to become a leading cultural institution committed to the study and appreciation of Chinese art and culture, while advancing dialogue among world civilisations. The Hong Kong Palace Museum is a collaborative project between the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Palace Museum, which is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust with a donation of HK$3.5 billion for its establishment.
Embracing new curatorial approaches, the Museum offers a Hong Kong perspective and a global vision, presenting the finest objects from the Palace Museum and other important cultural institutions around the world. Through research, exhibitions, and educational and professional exchange programmes, the Museum will build international partnerships and help position Hong Kong as a global hub for art and culture. At heart a resource that belongs to the community of Hong Kong, the Museum will inspire community engagement, foster dialogue, and promote creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration.
About the Liechtenstein Princely Collections
Assembled over several centuries, the Collections of the Prince von und zu Liechtenstein are one of the most important private art collections in the world, holding around 1,600 paintings with masterpieces ranging from the early Renaissance to the second half of the 19th century, including works by Lukas Cranach the Elder, Quentin Massys, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Rudolf von Alt, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Friedrich von Amerling and Hans Makart.
Of equal art-historical importance is the collection of Italian bronzes with its focus on masterpieces from the 16th to the 18th century. Besides these outstanding paintings and sculptures, the Princely Collections possess important holdings of drawings and engravings, pietra dura objects, enamels, ivories, decorative weapons, porcelain, tapestries and furniture that once graced the interiors of the family’s residences. Many of these works of art can also be seen in the two princely palaces in Vienna and worldwide in temporary exhibitions mounted by the Princely Collections or as individual loans to other institutions.
About LGT Bank
LGT is a leading international private banking and asset management group that has been fully controlled by the Liechtenstein Princely Family for over 90 years. As at 30 June 2022, LGT managed assets of CHF 284.7 billion (USD 297.4 billion) for wealthy private individuals and institutional clients. LGT employs over 4500 people who work out of more than 20 locations in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Australia and the Middle East.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on 40 hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.