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Liang Yi Museum Now Open to the Public

March 5, 2014 Attraction No Comments Email Email

Liang Yi Museum opens its doors today, paying homage to the East meets West culture of the city through its twin inaugural exhibitions.

Liang Yi Museum managing director Lynn FungWith the establishment of this non-profit private museum sprawling over 20,000 square feet of exhibition space, one of the world’s most prestigious antiquities collections will now have a permanent home in Hong Kong.

The Museum opens with exhibits Ming and Qing Masterpieces: Icons of Antique Chinese Furniture and Shanghainese Deco: Vanities in the Roaring Twenties. Guided tours are offered daily in English, Cantonese and Mandarin; bookings are recommended and can be made through the museum at (852) 2806-8280 or visitors@liangyimuseum.com.

Liang Yi Museum managing director Lynn Fung says, “Celebrating Hong Kong’s role as a key trading destination of antiques and preserving cultural heritage and craftsmanship, Liang Yi Museum opens its doors today, creating a space where people can view, interact and discuss our past and its relevance to the future.”

(From Left) Liang Yi Museum managing director Lynn Fung and Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs of Hong Kong SAR

Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs of Hong Kong SAR, extended the government’s congratulations at the museum’s press conference: “We are encouraged that Liang Yi Museum will become an institution that not only enriches our local cultural landscape, but also reinforces the international profile of Hong Kong as an important cultural capital for the region.”

The press conference included a panel discussion led by Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia, who moderated a dialogue with Fung, the collector Peter Fung, and museum advisor Francois Curiel, President of Christie’s Asia and renowned jewellery expert, who appeared in place of Meredith Etherington-Smith, curator of the vanities exhibit.

(From Left) Peter Fung, Lynn Fung, Florence Hui, Francois Curiel and Kevin Ching celebrate the Grand Opening of Liang Yi Museum

The Liang Yi Collection, which has travelled the world to exhibit at Beijing’s Palace Museum, Taiwan’s National Museum of History, and Goldsmiths’ Hall in London, first began from an antique purchase by the Fung family three decades ago, on Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road, the epicentre of the antiques trade in Asia.

Since then, it has grown to become one of the world’s largest and best curated selections of Chinese antique furniture, with over 300 pieces made of the treasured materials huanghuali and zitan from the Ming and Qing dynasties. These can be viewed in the Ming and Qing Masterpieces: Icons of Antique Chinese Furniture exhibition.

As the defining character of Hollywood Road today faces looming displacement by F&B establishments and rising rents, the four-storied museum, located in a refurbished 1960s tenement building with a black and white tiled façade typical of the era, stands as one of the few remaining markers of Hollywood Road’s illustrious past as the art and antiquing hub of the city.

(From Left) Peter Fung, Lynn Fung, Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby's Asia and museum advisor Francois Curiel, President of Christie's Asia and renowned jewellery expert

“Since it was paved in 1844 as one of the first streets on Hong Kong Island, Hollywood Road has been a key marketplace for precious and rare goods brought in by foreign merchants and traders. Not only is Hollywood Road important to the city, but it has particular significance to this collection,” says Ms Fung. “It is our hope that by establishing the Liang Yi Museum here, it will ensure the area’s long standing character as a hub for antiques and arts.”

The collection also includes a premier collection of nearly 400 jewelled clutches, compacts and powder boxes from the late1880’s through to the 1960’s, made by the finest European jewellery houses. The exquisitely detailed pieces were once a staple of every lady’s evening wear, but as they went out of fashion, the craftsmanship required to make them has all but disappeared. A curated selection of these are now on view at the Shanghainese Deco: Vanities in the Roaring Twentiesexhibition.

One of the exhibition items, Lidded Chest with Inlaid DecorationLondon-based Meredith Etherington-Smith, curator of the vanities exhibition, says: “When I first saw this collection of vanities 10 years ago, I was amazed because it was a part of fashion history that no one had ever really considered. In addition to being beautiful objets d’art, there is so much that these jewelled clutches tell us about women during different times, which the exhibitions will highlight.”

Displayed on a six-month rotation of exhibitions, the collection will be presented in refreshing, interactive ways that will maintain ongoing interest in the past, while keeping the craftsmanship relevant and interesting to today’s audiences. In this way, visitors will gain new perspectives of arts from a bygone era, and make Liang Yi Museum a cultural destination that people return to time and again.

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