Newman Center hosts exhibit on Song Dynasty: A Cultural Journey through Art, Tea and History

Marco Carvalho

The Cardinal Newman Center of Culture and Performing Arts will host, until May 28, the exhibition “Charm and Elegance of the Song Dynasty: Living Art and Culture Exhibition”.

Inaugurated earlier this month, the exhibit – one of the most eclectic and comprehensive, ever organized in Macau, focusing on one of the most fruitful periods of Chinese history – offers residents and visitors, alike, a unique opportunity to appreciate rare items that integrate some of the largest and most notorious private collections focusing on the Song dynasty history and art.

A joint effort by ADAPEC  – Associação Diocesana das Artes Performativas e Culturais de Macau and the Macau Collector Association, the exhibition brings together more than three dozen artistic and historical artefacts, including paintings, porcelain sets or even documents that prove that some of the descendants of the Song dynasty nobility took refuge in Macau and Hong Kong. The Song dynasty ruled China from 960 to 1279 and and set the stage for economic growth that would propel China into becoming the richest nation on Earth.

“The exhibition is divided into six sections and brings together more than 30 artefacts, including porcelain pieces, paintings, ornaments relating to the way tea was consumed, the economy or even records that help trace the descendants of the Song dynasty nobility to Hong Kong and Macau,” a Cardinal Newman Center spokesperson told O Clarim.

“By holding the “Charm and Elegance of the Song Dynasty: Living Art and Culture Exhibition”, the Center aims to foster a greater interest in history on the part of Macau school students and the general population, by treasuring cultural relics and ancient artefacts dating from or relating to the Song Dynasty. This event is something that can enhance a broader and deeper understanding of Chinese civilization and culture,” the spokesperson added.

Regarded as one of history’s wealthiest Golden Ages, the Song dynasty was a period of great cultural achievements. It was during the golden years of the Song Dynasty that classical Chinese poetry reached its higher levels of refinement and that the popularity of tea gained momentum in China, with the drink becoming an essential aspect of the Chinese population’s diet and way of living. Alongside the exhibition, which can be visited at Calçada da Vitória until May 28, the Cardinal Newman Center will also promote a series of parallel initiatives with a spotlight on tea and the tea-making heritage.

“Starting from March until May, we will promote a series of workshops called “Tea Culture in the Song Dynasty” and “Landscape Painting in the Song Dynasty”. The initiative that we will promote focusing on tea is not exactly a course. It is, rather, a set of six workshops that aim to make the participants familiar with some basic techniques of tea preparation,” the Cardinal Newman Center of Culture and Performing Arts spokesperson concludes.