Orientations is a bimonthly print magazine published in Hong Kong and distributed worldwide since 1969. It is an authoritative source of information on the many and varied aspects of the arts of East and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, from the latest scholarly research to market analysis and current news.
The Hong Kong Palace Museum, the newest addition to the city’s increasingly vibrant cultural landscape, opened to the public on 3 July with the presentation of more than 900 objects from the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing. To mark this occasion, we include four articles on the opening exhibitions. While some of the objects have never been exhibited before, many are iconic treasures that have been shown widely, thus challenging curators to propose fresh interpretations.
In our interview, the director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Dr Katherine Crawford Luber, who joined the museum at the beginning of 2020, discusses both the challenges and opportunities she faced while the museum was closed for the pandemic. We include a case study on the Mia’s Ya Chou lei, a piece from their collection of Chinese ritual bronzes that has attracted scholarly attention since the 20th century and generated fervent debate around its historical origin, and highlight the reinstalled Himalayan, South Asian, and Southeast Asian art galleries.
The next two articles encompass the theme of trade and exchange. Enamelled metalware was a Western art form that was imported into China but then became highly sought-after as an export. We probe the production of Canton enamels and their consumption both within and beyond the domestic sphere. Qing dynasty enamelled porcelains in the collection of the Baur Foundation have seldom been exhibited in their own right. An exhibition opening this fall examines how the palette of coloured enamels developed as a result of interactions between China and the West. The latest article of our map series looks at mapping projects initiated by the Korean royal court and the renowned geographer Gim Jeongho (1804–66) and aims to present an overview of the history of cartography in Korea during the late Joseon period.