The culture of Kingdom of Chu influenced China for over 800 years. The exhibition explores the impact of Chu culture through jade carving, featuring 158 pieces of jade excavated in Hubei Province from tombs dated from the Zhou Dynasties to mid and late Warring States.
Hong Kong, Art Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies Shatin, N.T.Map
The Kingdom of Chu was one of the feudal states of early Western Zhou Dynasty. With concerted endeavour of successive Chu rulers, the state had undergone significant expansion and became one of the strongest powers in the Spring and Autumn Period as well as the Warring States Period. At its peak, the territory of the Kingdom covered the vast land of southern China, amounting to half of the entire country. A distinct culture developed in that region contrasted sharply with that of the Central Plain and coastal regions during the pre-Qin times. More importantly, Chu culture also persisted in the Han Dynasty, influencing China for over eight hundred years.
The exhibition explores the impact of Chu culture through jade carving, featuring 158 pieces of jade excavated in Hubei Province from tombs dated from the Zhou Dynasties to mid and late Warring States. These tombs were located in the ancient Kingdom of Zeng (Guojiamiao and Zeng Houyi) and the Kingdom of Chu (Shanwan, Yaojiagang, Caojiagang and Jiuliandun) respectively. Focusing mainly on the mid to late Warring States jades from Jiuliandun, the show explores the stylistic features of Chu jades as well as their development history. It also illuminates the relationship between Chu jades and the Central Plain jades founded in the Kingdom of Zeng. For the first time, these exhibits will be organized and displayed according to their unearthed locations, which would help shedding light on the burial practice and function of burial jades of Chu culture.
Jiuliandun is by far the largest source of jades excavated from Chu tombs. Also valuable is the tomb of Guojiamiao, which has been awarded the Top Ten Archaeological Finds in China for two times in 2015 and 2016. All objects of this exhibition had never been exhibited outside mainland China before.