Every museum has its unique historical background and compositional structure. The contents of a museum's collection and exhibits are dictated in part by such factors, and the objects in its holdings are important keys to understanding what makes that museum unique and different from others. In other words, regardless of any ensuing political or social changes that occur, this foundation of a collection can never be completely eradicated, because the only things that change are the perspective and interpretation.
The objects in the collection of the National Palace Museum were originally, for the most part, from the Ch'ing dynasty imperial court. The purpose of this exhibition is to represent the features of objects originally from the Ch'ing inner court. The display contents are divided into two major parts. The first is an image-based presentation with curio boxes on display. The reason for choosing this type of object is that curio boxes best symbolize the richness and diversity of the Ch'ing collection and at the same time exemplify the depth of culture and subtle aesthetics of daily life, offering viewers now (as in the past) an exciting and pleasurable experience. The second part is a more material-based presentation offering an assorted selection of objects that embodies the Chinese yearnings for inheritance and views emphasizing the transmission of collected works. It also deals with the origins of the Ch'ing court collection, conservation methods used, and various ways of attaching new meaning to collection objects. Finally, the exhibition also analyzes the different perspectives that have been taken and their levels of influence in terms of the imperial appreciation of objects and artworks, thus making for a total of four sections.
One of the objectives of this exhibition is to highlight more clearly the legacy behind and characteristics of much of the Museum collection. In addition, it is very much hoped that visitors who come to the Museum realize that these artifacts, once the exclusive private domain of the imperial family, have now been bestowed upon all people today for their common appreciation and universal admiration. Finally, after understanding the motivation for preserving these works in the past, it is desired that audiences nowadays will be likewise inspired to carry on this worthy tradition for future generations.
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