On Saturday morning when I arrived in the Hall of the Nine Heavens at Dong Yue Art Museum, incense sticks were burning in various spots on the stone floor. It felt a very tranquil moment indeed knowing what kind of an afternoon was ahead of us.
A few minutes later we would move the knitted Pillar of Time (3.5 meters) outside into the courtyard feeling reasonably confident that the rain would hold off. This was an apt place for the Pillar of Time placed between the two ancient stone pillars in the yard that are enscribed with patron’s names who have contributed to the upkeep of the Hall of nine Heavens over the past several centuries.
In fact many parts of Beijing had rain that afternoon and by some stroke of luck it held back till evening time. For centuries the Hall was used to honour Lei Gong, god of thunder and people started to say he was playing a role in the affair.
Speakers were Mr Yuan Qiu Lai, the impressive curator for Dong Yue Art Museum, his daughter Mary Yuan who was a wonderful bilingual hostess, yours truly, artist friend and academic curator for the exhibition Dr Li Zhen and officiating the opening as well as causing a stir with the jaunty red trousers was the charismatic Irish Ambassador Paul Kavanagh.
It’s not easy to get people to cross a city like Beijing on Saturday afternoon and we were very pleased with the turn out. This was the opening show for Dong Yue Art Museum and so there was the additional measure of curiosity about the repairs and conservation that have taken place over the past couple of years.
In my next post we will take a closer look at the work showing.
The show runs until September 14th . Group or School tours are welcome and artist talks can be arranged. I can be reached on the contact page of this website.