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Location: Kulangsu, Xiamen, Fujian Province
Admission Fee: 50 yuan
The Kulangsu Gallery of Foreign Artefacts from the Palace Museum Collection is jointly administered by the Palace Museum and the Municipal Government of Xiamen. As one of the trading ports opened at the conclusion of the First Opium War (1840-1842) by the Treaty of Nanjing, the area of Xiamen includes the historic island of Kulangsu. The gallery is installed in the former Hope Hospital and the Nurses’ Residence, which cover an area of 11,000 square meters. It was founded with the purpose of complementing the island’s signature multinational architectural style with the Palace Museum’s diverse collection of art.
The gallery is a major venue for the Palace Museum to showcase its splendid collection of international art—the bulk of which originates in the Qing (1644-1911) imperial treasury. Most of these works have been kept in the storehouse of the Museum and have never been shown to the public. Originally from Europe, East Asia, and North America and having been obtained by various means, these international works date from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.
The gallery's first exhibition since opening to the public in May 2017 is International Artworks from the Palace Museum Collection for the Kulangsu Gallery. A total of 219 pieces (or sets) of well preserved art have been selected for this debut and are introduced under the following six topics: “Provenance of the Collection”, “Embodiment of Scientific Technologies”, “Foreign Ceramics”, “Daily Utensils from Western Traders”, “Gifts as Interior Decorations from the West”, and “Chinese Imitations of the Western Style”.
The displays include lacquers, pottery, porcelain, glassware, enamels, metalwork, textiles, paintings, books, sculpture, furniture, timepieces, and instruments. This varied collection comprises exquisite works of art and serves as evidence of intercultural exchange throughout history. With salient regional characteristics, they demonstrate the culture of foreign lands and reflect the frequent political, economic, and cultural contact between China and the rest of the world.
Translated by Li Yang
Edited by Adam J. Ensign