Treasures from books Extraordinary Encounters: Malou Hung’s Bookplates

The Hong Kong University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) and The University of Hong Kong Libraries will present Extraordinary Encounters: Malou Hung’s Bookplates from May 18 to June 6, 2021. Curated by Sarah Ng, the exhibition employs a cross-cultural perspective for visualising Chinese material culture through the bookplates (ex libris) of celebrated Hong Kong artist Malou Oi Yee Hung.

A bookplate is generally a small print placed on the inside front cover or free endpaper of a book to show ownership. 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.

An opening ceremony of the exhibition was held at HKUL today (May 18).

The exhibition also highlights historical objects from UMAG’s collection, and items displayed online as part of a complementary virtual exhibition. The exhibition’s 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 and printmaking tools.

For more images and captions of the exhibit items, please click here.

Curator-led Guided Tour
Date: May 22, 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 11:45am–12:15pm
Venue: Atrium, 2/F, Main Library, HKU, Pokfulam
Language: English
Speaker: Sarah Ng, Curator of UMAG, HKU
Registration required: https://bit.ly/3uY2EJs

Date: May 22, 2021 (Saturday)*
Time: 2:00pm–2:30pm
Venue: Atrium, 2/F Main Library, HKU, Pokfulam
Language: Cantonese
Speaker: Sarah Ng, Curator of UMAG, HKU
Registration required: https://bit.ly/3uY2EJs

*Participating artist Malou Oi Yee Hung will be present for a Q&A session after the guided tour.

Workshop: DIY Printing Bookplates
Date: May 22, 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 2:45pm–5:00pm
Venue: Workshop Room, G/F, Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam
Language: Cantonese
Instructor: Cheng Taigo, Co-founder of The Hong Kong Exlibris Association
Registration required: https://bit.ly/3uZgg7a

Date: May 29, 2021 (Saturday)
Time: 2:45pm–5:00pm
Venue: Workshop Room, G/F, Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam
Language: Cantonese
Instructor: Cheng Taigo, Co-founder of The Hong Kong Exlibris Association
Registration required: https://bit.ly/3uZgg7a

Details of the Exhibition (Main Library)
Period: May 18, 2021 (Tuesday) to June 6, 2021 (Sunday)
Opening Hours:
8:30am–11:00pm (Monday to Friday)
8:30am–7:00pm (Saturday)
10:00am–7:00pm (Sunday)
Please refer to the HKU Libraries website for public holidays’ opening hours: https://lib.hku.hk/general/hours/index.html

Venue: Atrium, 2/F Main Library, HKU, Pokfulam
Tel: (852) 3917 2203
Email: libis@hku.hk
Admission: Free
Website: https://lib.hku.hk

Other enquiries (UMAG)
Tel: (852) 2241 5500
Email: museum@hku.hk
Admission: Free
Website: https://www.umag.hku.hk/en/

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/HKULibrariesCollection
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