Artistic legacy of plum blossoms showcased

Tan Weiyun
An exhibition centered around the theme of plum blossoms has opened at Songjiang Museum.
Tan Weiyun

An exhibition centered around the theme of plum blossoms has opened at Songjiang Museum.

The title, "新岁梅花向春开," beautifully captures the essence of this showcase, as plum blossoms herald the arrival of spring.

The museum's collection, dedicated to the theme of the flower, invites visitors on a sensory journey, where delicate petals and vibrant hues paint a vivid portrait of renewal and hope.

On display are more than 60 artifacts including paintings, paper fans and plum vases. A highlight of the exhibition is the museum's creative approach to engage visitors, featuring postcard stamping, a "Plum Blossom Deity Chart" and narratives about plum blossoms, enhancing visitors' understanding and appreciation of the artworks.

On entering, visitors will see a plum blossom scroll by Zhang Zhao, a renowned Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) scholar from Songjiang. The painting, characterized by its slender branches and delicate petals, exudes an elegant charm with seemingly effortless strokes.

Adjacent to this is the ink plum screen by Zhang's friend, Seng Shiyuan, displaying a bold and uninhibited style. Following these are two ink plum scrolls by Zhang's descendant, Zhang Xianghe, depicting robust old trees with blossoming plums, symbolizing resilience and vitality.

This collection not only showcases the museum's treasures but also tells the story of Zhang's artistic circle.

"The plum, originating from China, holds significant symbolism in traditional culture," said Wang Xiaowei, the deputy curator of the Songjiang District Museum.

"Songjiang literati have shared a profound connection with plum blossoms since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), with over 20 known painters like Guan Daosheng, Zhang Zhao, Zhang Xianghe, Qiu Bingtai and Jiang Que, among others."

The exhibition predominantly features works by Songjiang literati, spanning from renowned Qing Dynasty pieces to modern works inspired by the inheritance.

The museum has innovatively incorporated interactive installations to enhance visitor experience. The "Plum Blossom Deity Chart" serves as an engaging guide for those confused by the diverse appearances of plum blossoms in paintings. This interactive display features rotatable circular charts, one side showing names and the other, corresponding images.

In the stamping area, visitors can create their own plum blossom art on blank postcards using the flower-carved stamps. Additionally, fan-shaped information plaques narrate plum blossom legends such as "Plum Blossom Makeup" and "Searching for Plums in the Snow."

"In recent years, we've been exploring the intrinsic value of our exhibits to attract more visitors and foster a love for museums," Wang added.

Date: through March 10

Address: 233 Zhongshan Road E., 中山东路 233 号

Artistic legacy of plum blossoms showcased

A number of calligraphy works on plum blossoms are displayed.

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