At the invitation of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, Dr Wang Xudong, Director of the Palace Museum, delivered a lecture titled ‘The Future of Tradition: Case Studies of Dunhuang and the Palace Museum’ yesterday at the Freespace in West Kowloon Cultural District. This lecture, which attracted nearly 400 attendees, was his first in Hong Kong since he took up the directorship at the Palace Museum in April 2019. Dr Wang shared his expertise in preserving two World Heritage Sites—Dunhuang and the Palace Museum. He also offered new insight into questions such as how to connect Chinese traditional culture to people’s lives today and how to bring it into the twenty-first century. After the lecture, Dr Wang answered questions from the attendees.

Serving previously as the Director of the Dunhuang Academy, Dr Wang has made major contributions to the preservation of caves, murals, and earthen sites at Dunhuang, the main gateway to the Silk Road. From 1991 onwards, he directed and participated in more than sixty major conservation and research projects and published more than 170 academic papers and six monographs. During his twenty-eight-year tenure at the Academy, he dedicated himself to the promotion of Dunhuang Academy’s heritage and research in the international arena, and the digitisation of the Mogao Caves. His tenure as the Director of the Palace Museum began as the Forbidden City is approaching its 600th anniversary.

Dr Wang addressed a number of issues relating to how to broaden and deepen the impact of Chinese culture epitomised by the museum. Dr Wang also commented on the preservation of and research projects into the amazing collection at the Palace Museum. In his lecture, Dr Wang noted that the Palace Museum represents the pinnacle of Chinese art, and the museum’s collection embodies the best of Chinese culture. The Mogao Caves located in the desert are a crowning achievement of Buddhist art in China from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. In Dr. Wang’s view, the Palace Museum, as a guardian of cultural heritage, plays a crucial role in preserving, studying, and bringing forward Chinese culture. It also has a mission to connect the past and the future, as well as to demonstrate the value of Chinese culture to the public and the international community creatively and impactfully.

This lecture is the first scholarly programme the Hong Kong Palace Museum has organised in collaboration with the Palace Museum. The Hong Kong Palace Museum is a collaborative project between the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Palace Museum. Scheduled to open in mid-2022, the Hong Kong Palace Museum offers a Hong Kong perspective and a global vision. It aspires to become one of the world’s leading cultural institutions committed to fostering the understanding and appreciation of Chinese art and culture, while advancing dialogue among world cultures and civilisations. With a new curatorial approach, the museum will present the finest objects from the Palace Museum collection as well as Chinese and international works of art from other leading global institutions.

Remarks

About Hong Kong Palace Museum
Located at the western tip of the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Hong Kong Palace Museum is scheduled to open in mid-2022. The Hong Kong Palace Museum is a collaborative project between the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Palace Museum. The capital cost of the museum is fully funded by a donation of HK3.5 billion from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Offering a Hong Kong perspective and a global vision, the museum aspires to become one of the world’s leading cultural institutions committed to fostering the understanding and appreciation of Chinese art and culture, while advancing dialogue among world cultures and civilisations. With a new curatorial approach, the museum will present the finest objects from the Palace Museum as well as Chinese and international works of art from other leading global institutions. The museum occupies some 10,000 square metres, with a total floor area of about 30,000 square metres. Nine galleries comprise 7,800 square metres. Visitors will enjoy ample rest areas inside and outside the museum, as well as an auditorium, atriums, educational spaces, gift shops, and dining areas. Rocco Design Architects serves as the museum’s design consultant.

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 forty 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 twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.

About Palace Museum
Established in 1925, the Palace Museum is one of the world’s most prestigious museums and a symbol of China and its crowning artistic and cultural achievements. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is located in the magnificent imperial complex of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties known as the Forbidden City. It is the world’s largest and best preserved timber-frame palatial complex. With more than 1.86 million precious holdings, the museum houses the largest museum collection in China.