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Christopher H. Hall cordially invites you to

The 2023/ 2024 K.S. Lo Memorial Lecture

Jades in the Palace of Heavenly Purity 

By Dr Tsai Ching-Liang


Date: Monday 8th July
Location: Hong Kong Club
Registration: 18:00
Lecture: 18:30
Dinner: 20:00
Lecture only: (Free; pre-registration required) Public
Lecture & Dinner*: $1000 Members; $1100 Non-members


The Oriental Ceramic Society is delighted to announce that the 2023/ 2024 K.S. Lo Memorial lecture will be delivered by Dr Tsai Ching-Liang of the National Palace Museum on Jades in the Palace of Heavenly Purity.

The Palace of Heavenly Purity (乾清宫 Qianqing gong), once the sleeping quarters of Ming and Qing emperors, lies deep within the Forbidden City’s inner court. From the reign of Emperor Yongzheng (r. 1722–1735) onwards, it housed the imperial succession edicts and was the emperor’s audience hall, putting it at the heart of imperial authority.

Because of its special status, the Qianqing Palace held a trove of the most important imperial cultural artefacts. Among these were jades spanning millennia: from the late Neolithic, symbolizing divine power, through to ritual artefacts from Shang and Zhou dynasties, and literati and decorative treasures from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

Dr. Tsai uses an archaeologist’s approach to gain deeper insight into the meaning of this collection. The Qianlong Emperor (r. 1711–1799) left plenty of clues in the way that he catalogued his jades and in the profusion of new jades he commissioned. In treating the Palace of Heavenly Purity as an archaeologist would treat an excavation site, it becomes possible to recover the original context of these artefacts, the most heavenly of jade wares in the imperial collection.

An exhibition of these Qianqing Palace jades will open at the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum this summer.

Dr. Tsai Ching-Liang is a researcher and deputy section head of Ancient Artifacts of the National Palace Museum (Taiwan) where he has curated multiple special exhibitions of ancient jades and bronzes. His research focuses on archaic jades and Shang and Zhou dynasty archaeology and bronzes. He has edited and authored numerous exhibition catalogues, archaeological reports and books on ancient jades and other artefacts, including Selected Bronze, Jade and Gold Treasures from the Rui State of Early Spring and Autumn Period. Dr. Tsai graduated from National Taiwan University and obtained a PhD in archaeology and museum studies from Peking University.

This talk will be presented in Mandarin, with English simultaneous translation.

This lecture is made free to members and available to the public through the generous support of the Lo Kwee Seong Foundation in honour of Dr KS Lo, one of the Society’s founding members.

*Please note that dinner reservations can only be confirmed upon payment and will be closed on 5 July at 12pm noon.

We remind members to abide by the Hong Kong Club’s smart dress code for guests: Business Smart (Jeans, T-shirts, tracksuits, shorts, shoes for sports activities and flip-flops are not acceptable. No denim may be worn at any time in the Club.)

Image: Courtesy of National Palace Museum
Spinach green and white jade vessels with phoenix motif, with Qianlong reign marks Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Era (r. 1711–1799)


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