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Research exhibition on Zhou Ruchang's former collection of rubbings

Updated: Jun 30, 2023


Dates: June 20, 2023-Oct 29, 2023

Location: Baosha exhibition hall 

On June 20, 2023, the exhibition Exploring the Flavors of Calligraphy - A Study of Zhou Ruchang's Former Collection of Rubbings opened at the Baosha exhibition hall of Prince Kung's Palace Museum. The exhibition showcases over 30 pieces from the museum's collection of rubbings donated by the renowned scholar Zhou Ruchang (1918-2012). With the curation based on the extensive inscriptions and colophons created by Zhou Ruchang on these ink pieces, the exhibition explores the cultural connotations of Chinese calligraphic art. Additionally, it chronicles Zhou Ruchang's learning of calligraphy and rubbings, and his research in the field of calligraphy, showcasing the academic style of China’s older generation of scholars.

Zhou, a native of Tianjin, was accomplished in classic literature research, poetry, and calligraphy. Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to the exploration of Chinese cultural theory and the study of annotated translations of Chinese and foreign literature, and particularly excelled in the field of Redology, which gained him international recognition.

Zhou's calligraphy originated from the study of model books and steles, following in the footsteps of renowned Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi from the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and drawing inspiration from Ouyang Xun, a calligrapher of the early Tang Dynasty (618-907). His style was lean, rigorous, and expressive. He studied the brush techniques of ancient masters from model books and steles, gradually transitioning from practice to research. Over the years, he collected numerous calligraphy rubbings, leaving behind a great many colophons and inscriptions.

After Zhou's passing, his family donated over 20,000 items of his manuscripts, letters, books, and rubbings, along with other archival materials, to Prince Kung's Palace Museum.

While collating and researching the collection of rubbings, Prince Kung's Palace Museum discovered their connection to Zhou's calligraphic practice and theoretical academic achievements. 

In 2018, Prince Kung's Palace Museum established the Zhou Ruchang Memorial Hall in the museum’s garden and gradually began organizing and researching his manuscripts and archival materials. This year marks the 105th anniversary of Zhou's birth, and this special exhibition is dedicated to commemorating him, with the aim of providing inspiration and guidance to calligraphy enthusiasts.

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