Wed, May 29, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Song Dynasty ‘ju’ ware going south

BIG CHANGES:While Hon Hai group chairman Terry Gou says the National Palace Museum Southern Branch is poorly used, the director says that much is happening

By Lin Yi-chang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An undated handout photograph shows a rare and valuable bowl with four-season flowers on a pink ground of falangcai-style painted enamels.

Photo courtesy of the National Palace Museum

More than 10 pieces of Song Dynasty ju ware (汝窯) from the National Palace Museum are to be exhibited at the museum’s Southern Branch in Chiayi County from June 29.

The exhibition is to also feature Revolving Vase with Swimming Fish in Cobalt Blue Glaze (霽青描金游魚轉心瓶) from the Qing Dynasty and a porcelain bowl painted with flowers against a pink background from Emperor Kangxi’s (康熙) time.

A similar Qing Dynasty bowl reportedly sold at auction last year for more than HK$238 million (US$30.32 million) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, while a piece of ju ware fetched more than NT$1 billion (US$31.8 million) at auction.

During a visit to Chiayi on Sunday, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who hopes to become the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in next year’s presidential election, criticized the management of the Southern Branch, saying that it is a “mosquito hall” and poorly used by the government.

The landscape has changed considerably since the branch was opened more than three years ago — the trees and plants have matured, museum Deputy Director Huang Yung-tai (黃永泰) said.

The branch sits in a park, and greening and beautification have made it ideal for contemplating national treasures and relaxing, he said.

The branch on Thursday next week is to open an exhibition of works from the Kobe City Museum in Japan titled The Beauty of Interchange, with more than 180 paintings, calligraphy pieces and ukiyo-e prints, he said.

More than 3,000 people on May 18 participated in a marathon at the branch, Huang said, adding that organizers hope that 5,000 runners will participate next year.

The branch has free shuttle buses, guided tours and hands-on activities as part of a project to encourage 1 million students to visit the museum, he said.

The museum also plans to have a projection show that will illuminate the Southern Branch building and the park’s Zhimei Bridge (至美橋) after last year’s show, which ran from September to November, was positively received, Huang added.

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