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"Beyond Boundaries: Cartier and the Palace Museum Craftsmanship and Restoration Exhibition" opened on 31 May 2019 at the Palace Museum's Meridian Gate (Wu men) galleries. Director Wang Xudong of the Palace Museum; Minister-Counselor Olivier Richard of the Embassy of France in China; Mr. Cyrille Vigneron, chief-executive of Cartier International; and Deputy-Director Lou Wei and Deputy-Director Yan Hongbin of the Palace Museum attended the event. Director Wang Xudong, Minister-Counselor Olivier Richard, and Mr. Cyrille Vigneron spoke at the ceremony.
A decade after the 2009 exhibition "Cartier Treasures: King of Jewellers, Jewellers to Kings", the Palace Museum and Cartier again jointly present the union of artistic inspiration and masterful craftsmanship within the ancient walls of the Forbidden City. The exhibition title "Beyond Boundaries" was inspired by reflections on the exchange and collaboration between the Palace Museum’s conservators and Cartier. In this interchange and exploration of the craftsmanship of timepieces, the team traced the sequence of time and the veins of historical development and came upon reflections on tradition while reaching beyond extant boundaries in bilateral cooperation. Objects on display in this exhibition also transcend the limits of time and craftsmanship and manifest cross-cultural resilience and artistic creativity.
The exhibition in the three galleries centers on "exquisite craftsmanship" and organizes the exhibits by time and along the lines of several themes from multiple perspectives. Over 800 objects, among which the earliest is dated to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), have been selected from the collections of Cartier, the Palace Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Qatar, and Musée international d'horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
The exhibition demonstrates the fruits borne from the collaboration between the two parties. Divided into three sections, the galleries present the works of art in "Chinese Inspirations", "Symbols of Power", and "Time Memories", combining traditional Chinese cultural heritage with cross-border artistic creations as embodied by Cartier and showcasing the results of a joint conservation project. While enjoying the arts of Chinese and Western jewellery throughout the exhibition, visitors are able to enjoy unique aesthetics, experience the accumulation of technique refinement and craftsmanship, and appreciate the history and significance of communication between China and the West.
The exhibition is open to the public from 1 June to 31 July and free with the purchase of a general admission ticket.
Translated and edited by Zhuang Ying and Adam J. Ensign