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The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Dunhuang – Untold Tales, Untold Riches

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Thematic Galleries 1 to 5 and Function Place on 1/F and Orientation Theatre on G/F
28 November 2014 - 16 March 2015

Jointly presented by: the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Dunhuang Academy
Jointly organised by: the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Dunhuang Academy
Solely sponsored by: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
Supported by: The Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Ltd., Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee), Friends of Dunhuang of Hong Kong


The Dunhuang Caves are home to Buddhist art relics of unparalleled beauty and intricacy as well as a vast repository of cultural information. Known as the "Encyclopaedia of the Middle Ages" and the "Library on the Wall", the collections in the caves preserve valuable materials from a variety of disciplines, including religion, art, history and ethnology. In addition to introducing the rich and diverse features of Dunhuang's grotto culture, this exhibition also relates how the Dunhuang Caves survived disaster and adversity in the 20th century and were transformed from a remote and deserted ruin to a sanctuary where medieval culture and art can be appreciated and studied in our modern era.

This exhibition showcases nearly 120 artefacts that represent all the core aspects of Dunhuang grotto art and fully demonstrate the vast diversity of Dunhuang culture. Highlights include three replica caves, a 13-metre-long statue of the Nirvāṇa Buddha, wooden movable type in Uighur script, Buddhist sūtras written in Tibetan script, The Book of Psalms written in Syriac script, the only extant printed copy in the world of Essential Mantras in Tangut script and copies of the cave murals produced by the founding pioneers of the National Dunhuang Art Institute (precursor of the Dunhuang Academy), including Mr Chang Shuhong and Mr Duan Wenjie.


Visiting Information (Admission & Opening Hours)

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: "The Never-ending Dunhuang" Programme Series

Docent Tour and Audio Guide Service

Exhibition Publications (Educational booklet & Catalogue)
 

Dunhuang Knowledge Depot       
Orientation Theatre, G/F 

Come inside and you will know how Dunhuang Caves were cut, how the murals were painted, how division of labour worked between artisans and who funded the cutting of the caves.

 

Exhibit Highlights  (For detailed information, please click the image)
 

Mogao Cave 275

Mogao Cave 275 

Northern Liang period
 

Mogao Cave 220

Early Tang dynasty

 

Mogao Cave 220
Seated Buddha

Seated Buddha

East side of north wall of Mogao Cave 259
Northern Wei period

Mogao Cave 45 Stucco statues on the west wall

High Tang dynasty
 

Mogao Cave 45
Stucco statue of Buddha in Nirvāṇa

Mogao Cave 158 Stucco statue of Buddha in Nirvāṇa

Mid Tang dynasty
 

Illustration of Nine-Coloured Deer Jātaka

West wall of Mogao Cave 257
Northern Wei period

Illustration of Nine-Coloured Deer Jātaka
Life story of the Buddha

Life story of the Buddha

East slope of the gabled ceiling of Mogao Cave 290
Northern Zhou period
 

Entering the womb riding on an elephant

North part of ceiling above the niche of west wall of Mogao Cave 329
Early Tang dynasty

 

Entering the womb riding on an elephant
Leaving the kingdom at midnight

Leaving the kingdom at midnight

South part of ceiling above the niche of west wall of Mogao Cave 329
Early Tang dynasty

  

Bodhisattvas attending sermon

South part of west wall outside the niche of Mogao Cave 272
Northern Liang period


 

Bodhisattvas attending sermon
Apsaras playing musical instruments

Apsaras playing musical instruments

South wall of Mogao Cave 285
Western Wei period
 

Water Moon Avalokiteśvara

South side of west wall of Yulin Cave 2
Western Xia peiod

Water Moon Avalokiteśvara
Thousand-Hand-and-Thousand-Eye Avalokiteśvara

Thousand-Hand-and-Thousand-Eye Avalokiteśvara

Yulin Cave 3
Western Xia period

Buddha Tejaprabha and Gods of Astronomy

South wall of passageway of Mogao Cave 61
Yuan dynasty

Buddha Tejaprabha and Gods of Astronomy
Illustration of Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra

Illustration of Amitāyurdhyāna Sūtra

North wall of Mogao Cave 45
High Tang dynasty
 

Illustration of the Parable of Medicinal Herbs in the Lotus Sūtra

North wall of Mogao Cave 23
High Tang dynasty
 

Illustration of the Parable of Medicinal Herbs in the Lotus Sūtra
Wedding scene

Wedding Scence

North wall of Mogao Cave 445
High Tang dynasty
 

Music and dance scene with pipa played behind the back

South wall of Mogao Cave 112
Mid Tang dynasty

 

Music and dance scene with pipa played behind the back
Wutai Mountain

Wutai Mountain

Mogao Cave 61
Five Dynasties period

 

Celestial figures surrounding the caisson ceiling

Mogao Cave 249
Western Wei period


 

Celestial figures surrounding the caisson ceiling
Asura Lord

Asura Lord

West slope of ceiling of Mogao Cave 249
Western Wei period
 

King Father of the East

North slope of ceiling of Mogao Cave 249
Western Wei period

King Father of the East
Caisson ceiling design with three rabbits and apsara figures

Caisson ceiling design with three rabbits and apsara figures

Ceiling of Mogao Cave 407
Sui dynasty

Donor portrait of Lady Wang from Taiyuan in worship

South wall of Mogao Cave 130
High Tang dynasty
 

Donor portrait of Lady Wang from Taiyuan in worship
Donor portrait of King of Khotan

Donor portrait of King of Khotan

East wall of Mogao Cave 98
Five Dynasties period
 

Silk banner with resist-dyed motifs

Tang dynasty
 

Silk banner with resist-dyed motifs
Stele carved with the Six-Syllable Mantra at Mogao Caves

Stele carved with the Six-Syllable Mantra at Mogao Caves

8th year of the Zhizheng reign, Yuan dynasty (1348)
 

Chapter on Universal Gate of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, Lotus Sūtra, in Tangut script

Western Xia period


 

Chapter on Universal Gate of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, Lotus Sūtra, in Tangut script
Psalms, in Syriac script

Psalms, in Syriac script

Yuan dynasty