Director of Palace Museum Dr Shan Jixiang Shares Museum’s Digitization Plan with Hong Kong Public
(16 March 2016, Hong Kong) Dr Shan Jixiang, Director of the Palace Museum in Beijing, today told the Hong Kong public about the Museum’s latest developments, including its digitization plan. He was in Hong Kong on the invitation of Our Hong Kong Foundation, and the talk was part of the China Masters Series organized by the China Institute, an initiative undertaken by the Foundation.
Mrs Eva Cheng, Executive Director of Our Hong Kong Foundation, said that through the activities organized by the China Institute, the Foundation aims to deepen Hong Kong people’s understanding of Chinese culture, history and current affairs. Earlier, the China Institute held its first talk under the China Masters Series, with China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs, Mr Jie Zhenhua, highlighting China’s contributions to combatting global climate change.
She added that the China Institute has invited the President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Mr Jin Liqun, to come to Hong Kong in early April to talk about “AIIB and Regional Development”.
Prof Cheng Pei-kai, President of the China Institute, said, “We particularly encourage Hong Kong’s youngsters to take part in studying the Palace Museum, to acquire an even deeper understanding of China’s history and culture, to be in closer contact with the ancient architecture and precious antiques in the Museum, and to gain first-hand appreciation of its cultural innovation.”
Director Shan today gave a talk on “The World of the Palace Museum; the Palace Museum for the World” at the Hong Kong Central Library today. This is the second talk in the China Masters Series and was attended by about 300 people from all walks of life, including academics in culture and history, educationalists, students, school principals and professionals.
Director Shan said that the Chinese Government will complete the overall renovation of the Palace Museum by 2020, when the Palace Museum will be celebrating its 600thanniversary. Through conservation, succession, publicity and research into the culture of the Palace Museum, the Government is determined to put the Museum among the world’s top, and prepare the Forbidden City for the next 600 years.
Director Shan added, “The renovation works will marry tradition with modernity at the Museum, using modern technology to construct the ‘digital Palace Museum’. For instance, the Duanmen Digital Exhibition will be opened to the public towards the end of this year, and will display the real ancient architecture and antiques in front of the visitors in a new, digital format. The digital exhibition will complement the real exhibits by making full use of new media. Phase One of the digital exhibition will focus on the theme of ‘Palace Museum as a Museum’ and will be inaugurated in December 2016.”
The Forbidden City has a history of nearly 600 years, and was the seat of power for 24 emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was believed to comprise 9999.5 buildings and is the world’s largest complex of ancient wooden structures. In 1925, it was opened to the public in the form of the Palace Museum, and now it receives over 15 million visitors a year. The Palace Museum collects over 1.8 million antiques, 93.2% of which are categorized as precious antiques, including some works of calligraphy and painting which are unsurpassed in the world as museum treasures.
About Dr Shan Jixiang
Dr Shan Jixiang is the Director of the Palace Museum, and a member of the 10th, 11thand 12thChinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He is also the President of the Cultural Relic Society of China, and Vice Chairperson of the Architectural Society of China.
Dr Shan graduated from the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University with an Eng. D degree, studying under Prof Wu Liangyong, who is a Fellow of two academies. He was an adjunct professor at various tertiary institutions, including Peking University and Tsinghua University, and a doctoral supervisor.
In March 2005, Dr Shan was awarded the International Leadership Award from the American Planning Association. In September 2014, he received the Forbes Award from the International Institute for the Conservation of Historical and Artistic Works. He has published over 10 books, including an anthology on cultural heritage, as well as over 100 academic papers.