Most of the Asian Jade artifacts of the National Palace Museum are from the Qing Court’s collection. Those exquisite jade artifacts not only shone with dazzling brilliance, more importantly, they spiced up the court culture with exotic cultures and diversified traditional carving techniques of jade objects. After conquering the Dzungarian Basin and Altishahr, which were later combined and renamed “Xinjiang”, the Qing Court was able to access jade mineral in the region and import Islamic Jade from neighboring Islamic empires, many of which were given as tribute from officials in Yarkand Khanate and tribal leaders of the Uyghurs. The objects travelled across a vast desert, crossing over countless mountain ridges before reaching the Forbidden City in Beijing. Three hundred years ago, these jade objects fascinated Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799, reign: 1735-1796); today, their popularity persists and catches museum visitors’ attention. In fact, these jade objects had been on four special exhibitions organized by the National Palace Museum (NPM). However, starting this September, the long-lasting jade objects, which have traveled through distant lands, will be on permanent exhibition in NPMSB, waiting for visitors to appreciate their timeless beauty.
The permanent exhibition, “Discover Asia in the Eyes of Jade”, first focuses on the Islamic Jade objects in the 15th to 19th century from multiple origins: the Mughal Empire, the Indian Regional States , the Ottoman Empire, and Central Asia. The exhibition categorizes the objects in four sections, hoping to present a clear picture of the distinct features of objects in each different region. In the future, Chinese Jade objects will also be included to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of the exhibition. We hope through such arrangement, visitors can gain a comprehensive understanding of jade objects in Asia when they come to this exhibition. With such arrangement, hopefully, we can let visitors forget time and learn the history by appreciating our jade collections.