Woodcut on paper of two young women

Sentient Paper

Highlighting the communicative power of paper

As luminously white as the frost and snow,
Neatly square like a game of chess.
For setting forth feelings or recording events,
So superior to its old form made of fishing nets.
Emperor Xuan of the Western Liang (519–562)

In his Ode to Paper, Emperor Xuan of the Western Liang (519–562) during the Northern and Southern Dynasties in China, marvelled at the versatility, refinement, and the communicative power of newly developed kinds of paper.

Echoing Emperor Xuan, this exhibition celebrates paper as an ancient enlightening technology, an embodiment of knowledge, a vehicle for political and philosophical ideologies, as well as an expressive artistic medium.

The dynamic spirit of this supple yet robust material and medium is highlighted in this exhibition through diverse creative forms: paintings, rubbings, prints, sculptures, paper-cuttings, photographs, political posters and rare books.

Woodcut on paper of two young women

Mian Cheng, Evening examination, 1965, relief print, University Art Collection, UA2001.15

The exhibition draws upon the art collection of the Chau Chak Wing Museum, with selections from the Powerhouse and the White Rabbit Collection, and from private collections and artists.

Level 1, China Gallery

Until Sunday 2 April 2023