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Past exhibition

Permanent Exhibition
Pleasing to the Senses: NPM Multimedia Experiences
The National Palace Museum (NPM) houses collections that represent the best of Chinese art and culture. In its commitment to research, conservation, exhibition, education, and outreach, the NPM has enhanced cultural accessibility with a rich array of digital archives and created world-renowned interactive artworks that combine art, technology, and new media. These innovative artworks serve to highlight the artistic value of the NPM’s treasured collections and encourage visitors to explore the museum’s abundant resources.
In the brand-new Digital Experience Gallery, the Southern Branch of the NPM is debuting five award-winning interactive works on paintings and calligraphy: Summer Lotuses, Autumn Colors, Traveling Through Brush and Ink, Let’s Paint One Hundred Horses and Elegant Encounters. These interactive works are based on the Tang dynasty Emperor Minghuang’s Journey to Shu, Lotuses in the Wind at Taiye by Feng Dayou and Travelers Among Mountains and Streams by Fan Kuan in the Song dynasty, Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains by Zhao Mengfu in the Yuan dynasty and One Hundred Horses by Giuseppe Castiglione, and Activities of the 12 Months: The 3rd Month by court artists in the Qing dynasty. Covering a period from the Tang all the way to the Qing dynasty and including styles such as traditional Chinese landscape and literati paintings and Qing dynasty court paintings integrating Chinese and Western techniques, these interactive installations present visitors with the best of the NPM collection by stimulating their senses of sight, touch, hearing, and proprioception, leading them on a journey to appreciate the evolving styles of the paintings and calligraphic works.
Exhibition Information
  • Event Date Permanent Exhibition
  • Location 2F S204
Song Dynasty
Summer Lotuses
"The green of lotus leaves stretches to the heavens;

Lotus blossoms shine with their red in the sunshine."

The lotus pond in full bloom as conveyed by the Song dynasty artist Feng Dayou is filled with lotus leaves and blossoms in radiant bloom swaying gently in the breeze. Some are buds awaiting to open and bring further life to the scene. Ducks swim leisurely about the pond as colorful butterflies dance in the air with swallows spanning wings for a scene full of life unfolding in a visual feast for the eyes of summer at its height. The construction of a cyber-physical interactive space allows the myriad imagery of breezy summer lotuses filling a pond come to life with your steps activating the emergence of fish swimming and duckweed gathering and dissipating with the ripples on the water's surface. At the same time, the breeze of life follows the cycle of time and day to issue forth boundless life and vitality. New media technology applied to a sense of realism allows you to use digital methods to feel the vibrant life of a summer day.

Artifact of Inspiration: Feng Dayou, Lotuses in the Wind at Taiye, Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
​Lotuses in the Wind at Taiye
  • Album leaf, ink and color on silk
  • 23.8 x 25.1 cm
In this mind-refreshing drawing, "Lotuses in the Wind at Taiye", both the title and the content carry several auspicious implications. The "Taiye" in the title refers to the "Pond of Taiye", which originally was the name for the imperial ponds in the Han Dynasty. Imperial ponds in later dynasties adopted this name, which became a symbol of wealth and good fortune. Lotuses and neighbouring pairs of duck couples suggest the concept of "husband and wife united together" in traditional culture. Lotuses also suggest successive childbearing; the flying butterflies imply the blessings of love and romance. In sum, the view of the lotus ponds is able to not only provoke a visually-pleasing sensation in people, but it also generates numerous pleasant thoughts, and has thus earned the fondness of many.
Feng Dayou (active 12th Century), creator of the "Lotuses in the Wind at Taiye" lived in Wumen (now Jiangsu, Suzhou) during the Southern Song Dynasty. With a self-styled sobriquet of Yizhai, he was documented in the painting history as a skilled artist in capturing the features of wind and sun surrounding the lotuses as well as the withering of lotuses that were old and the delicacy of those that were young. The "Lotuses in the Wind at Taiye" is colorful, elegant, and exquisite, and fully reveals the view of lotuses waving in the wind. It is Feng Dayou's last surviving art piece and is also a graceful and pleasant masterpiece to look at.
Yuan Dynasty
Autumn Colors
"A clear stream passes by mountains in green;

Clear skies and limpid waters melt in the autumn hues."

Zhao Mengfu used his recollections to paint "Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains," taking a romanticized and lyrical approach to sketching scenery as a present for his good friend, Zhou Mi, to relieve Zhou's longing for his hometown. The scenery has just turned to autumn with red leaves appearing here and there. Cottages are scattered as goats roam around. Hardworking fishermen seem to take advantage of the pleasing weather and make their way home with a full catch. Women in the cottages come out as if drawn by this appealing scenery. This installation uses color and time order to interpret the message of autumn. Using digital body sensor interaction, you can use your hand to wave over the painting and move your hands to initiate close-ups, revealing the original delicate beauty of "Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains." It is as if you became a painter sweeping the brush, transmitting the true friendship between the literati.

Artifact of Inspiration: Zhao Mengfu, Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains, Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains
  • Handscroll, ink and color on paper
  • 28.4 x 90.2 cm
Zhao Mengfu, style name Zi'ang and sobriquet Songxuedaoren, was an eleventh-generation descendant of the first Song emperor (Emperor Taizu of Song). He lived in Wuxing (modern-day Huzhou, Zhejiang). In 1286, the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan ordered the Imperial Preceptor Cheng Jufu to travel south to Jiangnan and search for "left-over subjects," or loyalists, to serve the court. Zhao Mengfu was chosen and ordered to serve as an official. Under three emperors, he became a prominent scholar and was rewarded with noble rank and a posthumous title. Zhao was also particularly renowned in the arts of poetry and prose, painting, and calligraphy. In painting, he was gifted in many subjects, including landscapes, figures, horses, bamboo-and-stones, and birds-and-flowers, becoming an early Yuan leader in painting and calligraphy circles. His theories of stylistic revivalism and the commonality of painting and calligraphy had a major impact on later generations.
This scroll was painted for a close friend Zhou Mi (1232-1298) in 1295 after Zhao Mengfu had returned home from Yanjing down south. Zhou Mi, born in Wuxing, was a famous literary figure and a connoisseur of the late Song and early Yuan whose family was originally from Jinan in Shandong near Mt. Hua-pu-chu (Hua Mountain). His great-grandfather had followed the Emperor Gaozong of Song to the south after the fall of the north. In the Yuan dynasty, Zhou assumed "left-over subject" status lived a life of reclusion in the Hangzhou and Huzhou areas without pursuing office. He never traveled to his ancestral homeland of Jinan, but in his writings often referred to himself as from that area (using terms such as "Man of Huabuzhu Mountain" and "Man of Qi"). Even the title of one of his books refers to his homeland, which shows just how nostalgic he felt about times and places of old. It was during the period from 1292 to 1295 that Zhao Mengfu had served as Assistant Commander of the Jinan Circuit, a post that allowed him to become quite familiar with the scenery there. Thus, after returning home to the south, he did this painting for Zhou Mi to appease Zhou's nostalgic longings.
from Tang dynasty to Yuan dynasty
Travelling Through Brush and Ink
Travelling Through Brush and Ink selects important landscape paintings and calligraphy works from the NPM's collection. Through modern representations and high resolution technology, the films capture the inner spirit of the ancient calligraphy and painters, as well as present the heritage and innovation of traditional craftsmanship, opening a dialogue between tradition and the contemporary. Contemporary dancers, music composers, and calligraphers are also invited to incorporate their interpretations of these timeless masterpieces, providing viewers with a diverse approach to appreciating the NPM's collection.
Qing dynasty
One Hundred Horses
  • Handscroll, ink and colors on silk, 94.5 x 776 cm
The Italian missionary-artist Giuseppe Castiglione (Chinese name: Lang Shining) arrived in China in 1715 to do missionary work and was summoned to the court, where he came to serve in the Painting Academy. He brought the realistic techniques of European oil painting and one-point perspective with him to the court. Castiglione excelled at bird-and-flower subjects "sketched from life" and was especially renowned for his depictions of horses.
This handscroll, completed in 1728, depicts a hundred steeds in various poses within a horizontally stretching landscape to create a majestic scene of pasturing. The horizon line for the landscape is maintained at a two-thirds height throughout, creating for a complete and contiguous sense of space across the surface of the painting and the scenery. The trees and other motifs are also shown in correct proportion to suggest a spatial effect of level distance. The technique in the painting differs from that of traditional Chinese art, with the artist, Giuseppe Castiglione, utilizing areas of light and dark colors for the forms to suggest their volumetric quality and to express a sense of light and shadow as well. As for the horses, though their forms are outlined with lines, they are mostly modeled with areas of color. Castiglione, however, consciously subdued the shadows for the forms to preserve their solidity but without creating a dramatic contrast between light and dark. This work can be seen as Castiglione's way of actively integrating the qualities of two disparate painting traditions.