Radiant Legacy: Ancient Chinese Gold from the Mengdiexuan Collection

5 May - 16 March 2014
Gallery II, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

A collection of about 300 Eurasian and Chinese gold artifacts dating from ca. 1500 BCE to 1700 CE in the Mengdiexuan Collection, Hong Kong, forms the core of this study and exhibition. This is the first comprehensive, systematic presentation of gold in ancient China held in a Hong Kong museum.

More than just an exhibition of one private collection, this is the first large-scale, art-historical, intercultural, and technical study of Chinese gold from the earliest times. As a material that was introduced into China through its contact with non-Chinese groups during the late 2nd millennium BCE, gold brought with it not simply a new visual appeal, but completely new technological, artistic, and cultural implications in the complex interactions between cultures, peoples, and regions over time and space. With the help of archaeological discoveries in China, Central Asia, and Russia, this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue will assess the development and role of gold in Chinese society for over 3000 years.