"Carving Sentence and Engraving Word - Life -- Mr. Tang Wai-hung and Mr. Cheng Wai Ming, Peter Donation Exhibition" Conducted at Tianyige Museum
sources:天一阁博物馆Release date:2017-12-08 
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Following the donation by Dr. Cheng Wai Ming, Peter of 133 pieces of woodblock genealogy in 2 sets to Tianyige Museum in December 2014, this year, Dr. Tang Wai-hung and Dr. Cheng Wai Ming, Peter, two deputy directors of Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole of University of Hong Kong once again generously donated 100 pieces of cultural relics to Tianyige Museum, they were mainly Qing Dynasty woodblock and wooden movable-type boards, their contents covered Confucianism thoughts, Taoism classics, folk life, and so on, covering a wide range of aspects and their forms were diverse.

Woodblock printing and movable-type printing are both important ancient inventions of our country, which have a significant impact in terms of cultural communication and social life. The exhibition of this time was divided into two sub exhibition areas, woodblock and movable-type, the woodblock part was again divided into a total of six chapters, namely, "Collection and Records of Confucianism", "Taoism Classics", "Folk Medicine", "Folk Norms", "Folk Custom" and "Folk Belief". Among them, the woodblock of "Collection and Records of Confucianism" mainly originates from the Lingzhong of two Qing Dynasty series of books, namely, Shaanxi Sanyuan Liu family's Chuanjing Hall series and Jingyang Bai family's Bai Classics Zhengtang Collection. Chuanjing Hall, created by Liu Shaoban of Shaanxi Sanyuan in Qing dynasty, was the largest and  longest private publisher in Guanzhong area of Shaanxi province. Traditional China was ruled with Confucian thoughts, so the publication of Confucian classics was an important content of Chinese ancient printing. In the part of "Taoism Classics", the woodblock editions of the primer for cultivating Taoism, Yudi Huangjing, as well as Qi Zhenchuan and Zhentan Jing enabled us to have a restricted view of the resurgence situation of the Quanzhen school in Qing dynasty.

The most attractive contents of this exhibition were woodblocks reflecting folk life. For example, ancestral temple woodblocks with careful history chasing meaning, such as Ancestral Temple Map, Memorial Tablet Consecrate Map and Front Gate Double Lion Figure Standing Map, were rich in contents, exquisite in carving, and have high cultural relic value and artistic value. Again, the "Medicine Labels" which are combined with folk religion, are specially designed holy labels for patients to seek medicine from gods, and they are set in the name of the gods worshiped among the people. In regions of traditional society where medicine was underdeveloped, medicine labels with folk belief color were special forms of disease healing for patients. In addition, there was also folk paper horse art, which was unadorned and simple in style and had strong local color.

The second part of the exhibition displayed more than ten thousands of movable types in different sizes. The invention of movable type printing reflects the development of ancient science and technology and the innovation ability. More than 800 years ago, Wang Zhen of Yuan Dynasty invented the wooden movable type printing, today, this craft is mainly used in folk genealogy revision tradition of China. From "type matrix carving" to "inking and printing" and to production of printed products, wooden movable type printing needs more than ten procedures, although its technical contents are high and it is time-consuming, but rare is valuable, the finished products can be preserved for hundreds of years and remain as new.


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