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EXTRAORDINARY ENCOUNTERS: MALOU HUNG’S BOOKPLATES
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18 May 2021 - 05 Jun 2021

The Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) and The University of Hong Kong Libraries is pleased to present the exhibition Extraordinary Encounters: Malou Hung’s Bookplates from May 18 to June 5, 2021. Curated by Sarah Ng, the exhibition employs a cross-cultural perspective for visualising Chinese material culture and art through the bookplates (ex libris) of celebrated Hong Kong artist Malou Oi Yee Hung. through ex libris that originally from the west.

A bookplate is generally a small print placed on the inside front cover or free endpaper of a book to show ownership, equivalent to the book owner’s signature. In an era in which the popularity of print media continues to decline, the practice of including bookplates is fast becoming a dying art. Extraordinary Encounters refers to the surprising ways in which we still encounter bookplates during the act of reading. Alternatively, it stands for the remarkable encounters possible when viewing Hung’s images, which go well beyond the general expectations of standard bookplates. These encounters have the ability to transport audiences across time and space, allowing for the appreciation of ancient artworks and diverse Hong Kong neighbourhoods as viewed from the artist’s extraordinary perspective.

Bookplates have been appreciated for centuries as technically refined and beautiful artworks, as well as critical materials for learning about the history of art, printing, books and design. Many of the works on display here pay homage to everyday life in Hong Kong’s bygone eras—informed by elements of traditional Chinese culture—which forms an invaluable resource for the study of Chinese art and Hong Kong heritage.

The exhibition also highlights historical objects from UMAG’s collection, and items displayed online as part of a complementary virtual exhibition. The exhibition is divided into five sections range from daily life in bygone eras to the material culture and craftsmanship of Imperial China: Rituals and Daily Life, Collected, Superfluous Things, Revisiting and Craftsmanship. The bookplates are juxtaposed with items from UMAG’s permanent collection alongside with printmaking tools. 

Click here for onsite exhibition handout.

Click here for virtual exhibition.

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