REUNIONS: A COLLECTOR'S JOURNEY
21st March, 2017 - 3rd March, 2018
Inspired by the three movements of Beethoven's Les Adieux, or Piano Sonata No. 26, Das Lebewohl (The Farewell), Abwesenheit (The Absence) and Das Wiedersehen (The Return), Reunions: A Collector's Journey explores the relevance of the themes of loss, absence and return to building a collection. Featuring over one hundred pieces of Chinese furniture from the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) dynasties, Reunions tells the story of how Liang Yi Museum's first collection was built and how Peter Fung, the museum's founder, spent decades reuniting antiques—ones that had originally come in sets—with their long-lost counterparts.
Threatened by centuries of strife, foreign interference, and China's destruction of its own heritage during the Cultural Revolution, fewer than 10,000 pieces of classical Chinese hardwood furniture are thought to still exist. The furniture that does survive is scattered around the world, making collecting complete sets a daunting challenge. The highlight works in this exhibition provide an insight into the tastes and habits of the collectors and dealers who handled them, while simultaneously shedding light on episodes from China's tumultuous history.