January 29, 2020
Earlier this morning, I was excited to look at a virtual exhibition tour published by the Hong Kong Museum of Art on their official website. I make a cup of mint tea ready to explore all the art. I was very much surprised with their virtual accessibility service. The visit website is divided into two parts. First, it takes you through their picked collections. Second, catalogues of current exhibitions. Their picked collections absolutely caught my attention, which is what I will be talking about specifically in this blog.
Once clicked on each collection, the website redirects you to their official YouTube page with beautifully constructed videos. I started with their picked collections first with Shitao’s (Zhu Ruoji) – “Mount Huang” from Exhausting Extraordinary Peaks for a Sketch. The video displayed a three-dimensional portrayal of the sketch, which I think was an absolute outstanding attempt to give the viewers an exceptional experience. This video gave an opportunity to look at the detailed strokes and lines created by the artist which helps in visualizing the story behind.
Under the Dry Ink and Sparing Brushwork, three works were displayed by Cheng Sui’s – “Reading Under an Autumnal Tree”, Dai Benxiao’s – “Landscape in the Style of Ni Zan and Wan Shouqi’s” - “Landscape”. The video begins with a man reading under a tree, and the falling leaves travelling to the next page where Cheng Sui’s painter seal can be seen carved with a background music, which actually seemed very realistic. What struck me the most throughout this video was the background music, which I feel played an important role to narrate the story. The music sure gives out strong vibration when you watch it with headphones on.
In the Solitude section, works by Gong Xian’s – “Returning from Fishing” and Yao Song’s – “Landscape” were on display. The video starts with a text narrations describing the meaning of the painting. After concluding the texts, I feel the artist wanted to demonstrate the story about loneliness of a fisherman. Given the title Solitude, this painting walks us through the empty mountains, empty sky, empty paths and empty sight that a fisherman sees. This video does an incredible job giving viewers a beautiful visualization focusing on the delicacy of the work up so close.
In the last section The Bamboo Way, works by Li Yanshan’s – “Twin Bamboos”, Zhu Sheng’s – “Bamboo and Rock” and Xia Chang’s – “Bamboo” were displayed in the video. This video takes us through the development of leaf forms from the Song Dynasty to, botanic nodes from the Yuan Dynasty to, Inscription forms from the Ming Dynasty to, mnemonic chants of the Qing Dynasty. The video successfully demonstrates the detailed changes up close which would not been easy to notice if viewed in person.
The Hong Kong Museum of Art attempted beautifully in making their website and videos so accessible to the viewers. The website is informative and producing such videos in animated forms and assigning the right music brings the concept of the paintings together. I am a person who likes to have a background music along with viewing the paintings rather than being in a quiet museum gallery. Music does help me to concentrate into the painting and understand it’s story. I would deeply recommend to visit their website virtually and enjoy the beauty yourself.
Link to the Hong Kong Museum of Art’s official website: https://hk.art.museum/en_US/web/ma/home.html
Link to the virtual visit of their picked collections: https://hk.art.museum/en_US/web/ma/exhibitions-and-events/virtually-at-hkmoa.html - YouTube videos will automatically redirected upon clicking preferred topic.
Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Museum of Art