Mask, 1300–1100 BCE. Gold. H. 17.5, W. 31, D. 16 cm. Sanxingdui Pit 3, excavated in 2021. Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology © Sanxingdui Museum
HONG KONG.- The Hong Kong Palace Museum announced the arrival of priceless artefacts from the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan and Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu for the upcoming special exhibition “Gazing at Sanxingdui: New Archaeological Discoveries in Sichuan” (“Gazing at Sanxingdui”). The exhibition will be on view from 27 September 2023 to 8 January 2024. Curators and conservators from Sichuan and the HKPM worked closely together to perform condition checks and the installation of the newly arrived treasures in Gallery 8 of the Museum. “Gazing at Sanxingdui” is co-organised by the Hong Kong Palace Museum, the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, and the Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu and is supported by the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Chengdu Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. Bank of China (Hong Kong) is the Sole Sponsor of this special exhibition.
The first four precious cultural relics to be unveiled at the HKPM include: the stand of a bronze tree, a grade-one national treasure unearthed in 1986. It is the only bronze tree artefact presented in this exhibition. The three other star pieces are a bronze hybrid tiger-dragon figure, a gold mask, and the grand mythical creature, all unearthed between 2020 and 2022. They are being exhibited outside Sichuan for the first time. With its upturned tail, the hybrid tiger-dragon stands at 75.5 cm tall, making it one of the tallest animal-shaped figures excavated at Sanxingdui so far. The gold mask displayed this time is the largest of the ten gold masks unearthed from Sanxingdui, weighing around 350 g. The mask is made of an alloy with a gold content of 85 percent. At 98 cm high, 104 cm tall and 39 cm wide, the grand mythical creature is the largest bronze mythical creature so far found at the site.
Highlighting new archaeological discoveries at Sanxingdui in Sichuan province, the exhibition features 120 bronze, jade, gold, and pottery objects dating to 2,600–4,500 years ago, excavated from the Sanxingdui, Jinsha, and Baodun sites. Among these 120 priceless artefacts are twenty-three grade-one national treasures. Fifty-five objects were unearthed in the most recent excavations at the Sanxingdui site between 2020 and 2022, and many pieces are being exhibited outside Sichuan for the first time. The exhibition dives into the lives and cultural interactions of different ethnic groups and regions in ancient China and explores urban and religious life and artistic and technological achievements in art and technology across the Chengdu Plain, testifying to the HKPM’s mission of promoting the inheritance of China’s magnificent culture.
With the fit out for the exhibition now complete, the HKPM team is making preparation for the showcasing of the treasures. “Gazing at Sanxingdui” will open to the public in Gallery 8 of the HKPM on 27 September, running until 8 January 2024. Tickets for this special exhibition, priced at HK$150 for adults and HK$75 for visitors eligible for concessions*, also include access to thematic exhibitions in Galleries 1 to 7 and are available for sale now through West Kowloon Cultural District’s online ticketing platforms and ticketing partners. In anticipation of the high visitor flow during the National Day Golden Week holiday, the HKPM will remain open on 3 October (Tuesday), a normal museum closure day.
To complement the exhibition, the HKPM will host the “Sanxingdui and Bronze Age China” International Symposium on 27 and 28 September 2023. Leading Chinese and overseas scholars will present the latest archaeological discoveries and research on Sanxingdui and engage in dialogue on the social, cultural, and technological developments of Bronze Age China. Tang Fei, Director of the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, will also share his valuable insights in a public seminar on 28 September 2023 at 7:30 pm. Other learning and engagement programmes include archaeological workshops for children, teaching kits, film screenings, guided tours, and public lectures. Please visit the HKPM website for more details.
Mask, 1300–1100 BCE. Bronze. H. 71, W. 131, D. 66 cm. Sanxingdui Pit 3, excavated in 2021. Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology © Sanxingdui Museum
Mythical creature, 1300–1100 BCE. Bronze. H. 98, L. 104, W. 39 cm. Sanxingdui Pit 8, excavated in 2022. Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology © Sanxingdui Museum
Hybrid tiger-dragon figure, 1300–1100 BCE. Bronze. H. 75.5, W. 38.5, D. 58 cm. Sanxingdui Pit 8, excavated in 2021. Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology © Sanxingdui Museum
Kneeling figure with twisted head, 1300–1100 BCE. Bronze. H. 48, W. 15.5, D. 13.6 cm. Sanxingdui Pit 4, excavated in 2021. Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology © Sanxingdui Museum