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National Palace Museum

Exhibition catalogue Timeless Legend: the Red Cliff and Historic Figures of the Three Kingdoms(in Chinese)

  • Chief Editor: Lin Tian-ren
    Written by: Wang Jian-yu, Chen Hui-xia, Zheng Zhi-yu, Lai Guo-sheng, Zhong Zi-yin, and Lai Zhi-yi
    Executive editors: Wang Jian-yu and Lai Zhi-yi
    Exhibition curators: Lai Zhi-yi and Wang Jian-yu
    Translated by: Huang Si-yu and Bao Jia-qing
  • ISBN: 978-957-562-809-3
  • Price: NT$1,060
  • Binding: softcover
  • Related network resources: Timeless Legend: the Red Cliff and Historic Figures of the Three Kingdoms

"On and on the great river rolls, racing east. Of proud and gallant heroes its white-tops leave no trace" was the opening sentences in Luo Guanzhong' Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The history of, moving stories inspired by, and wisdom and courage showcased by the historic figures from the Three Kingdoms period have become the muses of numerous historians, writers, and artists. In 2019, the National Palace Museum (NPM) hosts special exhibition Timeless Legend: the Red Cliff and Historic Figures of the Three Kingdoms, introducing to the world for the first time its collection of Three Kingdom-related artifacts, Red Cliff-related calligraphy and paintings, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms-related publications as well as Japanese rare books borrowed from the National Taipei University of Technology and Three Kingdom-related drawings created by comics artist Chen Uen. The goal is to present people's drawings and imaginations of the Three Kingdoms period from the past to the present.

In 2018, the NPM Northern Branch hosted special exhibition The Legacy of Chen Uen Art Life & Philosophy, exhibiting comics for the first time since its founding. The exhibition was very well received. Subsequently, the public expressed its desire for the NPM to curate a similar exhibition at the NPM Southern Branch. Accordingly, the NPM selected Three Kingdom-related comics drawn by Chen Uen and combined them with its artifact collection to demonstrate the union of classical art and popular culture.

In 2003, the Louvre Museum introduced the BD LOUVRE Project, inviting comics artists to create and exhibit their works at the museum. Such an endeavor served as an example of museum–popular culture integration. Concerning the history of comics, it can be traced back to the Renaissance period when painters produced exaggerated drafts prior to painting murals. In Japan, toba-e, which originated in the 12th century, is considered the origin of comics in said country. Hokusai Manga, presented in this special exhibition, was the first instance of the use of the term "manga" (comics). Also shown at this special exhibition are prints based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms as well as those produced during the mid-Ming dynasty, displaying the evolution of the Records of the Three Kingdoms from a historical text to novels, paintings, calligraphy, operas, prints, and comics. The crucial role played by Chen Uen in comics circles in Asia is also validated.

The Red Cliff has long been a subject of art and literature. This special exhibition shows over 100 relevant artifacts including poetry, songs, historical novels, calligraphy, paintings, and everyday objects. Today, Three Kingdom is used in comics, games, movies, and literature, making it the topic that people are most familiar with. This special exhibition reveals the different aspects of the Red Cliff and the Three Kingdom that took place approximately 1,800 years ago, hoping to move and captivate its audiences.

Exhibition catalogue Timeless Legend: the Red Cliff and Historic Figures of the Three Kingdoms(in Chinese)
Exhibition catalogue Timeless Legend: the Red Cliff and Historic Figures of the Three Kingdoms(in Chinese)