5. Highlights from Pictorial Silks

Textiles shown in this section are all from the collection of the University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG), The University of Hong Kong (HKU). UMAG’s textile collection has developed over the past several decades through generous donations by individuals affiliated with the University of Hong Kong and private collectors. Several embroidery pieces were donated by Dr Hui Wai Haan, who taught in HKU’s Department of Chemistry for nearly four decades. The entire kesi silk tapestry collection was donated by Dr Lam Kwok Pun.

The textiles have been dated according to their weaving or embroidery techniques, use of materials, or established information on individual weavers. The comparative discussion of silk tapestry and embroidery is based on the traditional juxtaposition of these two mediums in historical texts, including catalogues of the imperial collection such as Midian zhulin (Pearl Forest in the Secret Hall) (1744), Shiqu baoji (Catalogue of Painting and Calligraphy in the Qianlong Imperial Collection) (1745), and the monographs Qing neifu cang kesi xiuxian shuhua lu (Catalogue of Kesi Silk Tapestry Woven and Silk Embroidered Calligraphy and Painting in the Collection of the Imperial Household Department) (1930) and Sixiu biji (Notes on Silk and Embroidery) (1933).