A First Look at Scholars and Debutantes: A Contrast of Ascetic and Opulent Luxuries; Liang Yi Museum
Scholars And Debutants: A Contrast Of Ascetic And Opulent Luxuries is a two-part exhibit looking into the rare history of what may be regarded as scholarly objects, such as Chinese wood artifacts and ancient trinkets, as they happen to belong, once upon a time to scholars, then society’s elite circle.
Numbering one hundred (100), these scholarly items are flaunted to be the largest collection of its type to be gathered in one major display venue. It showcases a wide range of curio objects and things found historically in Chinese residences and art studios. They vary from scepters to brush pots to everyday items as trays, inlaid boxes, table stands and ink stones.
Several of the truly rare and unique pieces are a delicately created, beautiful bird cage, a harness mount (for horse riders) made of zitan and an imperial box for scrolls made of Huanglhuali. These items are known to have played a key role in a Confusian society which then held scholars in very high esteem, although they believed in Buddhist and Daoist philosophies which rejects materialism, favoring instead humility and simplicity.
The other half of the exhibit may be gleaned from its theme; A History of Evening Bags. This highlights more than two hundred (200) pieces of European vanity items from the late 19th to the 21st centuries.
They’re presented and underscored by their context in history, offering a journey through the era of relaxation of Victorian morals when the upper class women were permitted to put on cosmetics and socialize outside their homes. It goes through the 20th century when the influences of Faberge and Ballet with its Russian motifs were rising and on to the advent of World War I and the consequent emancipation of women.
You’ll get to appreciate the use of the word “Opulent” when you get to see an array of glittering diamonds, gold emeralds and rubies, along with vanity luxuries from the houses of Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, which all helped to evolve today’s woman.
What: Scholars and Debutantes: A Contrast of Ascetic and Opulent Luxuries
When: from 1st September 2015 for six months
Where: Liang Yi Museum,
181-199 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday; 10am to 6pm
Photos (Courtesy Liang Yi Museum):
Top: Clutch, Compact & Pillbox, gold & diamonds, Meister c.1960′s (Left); Compact, enamel, gold, diamond & sapphire, Walser Wald, c.1920′s.
Bottom: Pair of Large Inlaid Boxes, Huanghuali & Hardstone Inlays, 17th to 18th Century , 70 x 21 x 16 cm (Left) ; Peach-shaped Wine Cup, Huanghuali, 17th Century, 11.5 x 8 x 5.5 cm (Right).