Historically, sword-making and classical martial arts developed closely together. The evolution of weapons led to new methods of swordsmanship and vice versa, which represents a fascinating chapter in Chinese history. The development of swords provides a glimpse not only into the evolution of metallurgy and sword-manufacture in China, it reveals the secrets of classical combat arts, and supplies a unique perspective to understanding the cultural values, exchanges and philosophies in dynastic China.

Painting & Calligraphy of Swordsman by Lee Chi Ching

Swords are inseparable from chivalry in popular imagination. Heroes in the novels of contemporary wuxia novelists Mr. Louis Cha Leung-yung and Liang Yusheng has already become household names in locals, whereas the novels themselves serve as the most prominent platform where the public learn about Chinese martial culture. Swords and chivalry, however, have formed a complicated and subtle relationship in the course of Chinese history.

The exhibition will showcase a collection of creations centered on wuxia novels by Hong Kong artist Lee Chi Ching. Through Chinese painting and calligraphy, the exhibition looks at the classical allusion of “sword” and “chivalry” in retrospect, and investigates their historical relationship. Their contradictory relationship in pre-Qin era was reshaped by the discourse on “chivalry” of Sima Qian in Han Dynasty and further sculpted by the writings of intellects on “swordsman” in Tang Dynasty. As a result the mainstream, originally repellent to the idea, started to accept “chivalry”. Eventually, the notions of “chivalry” and “sword” converged in Song and Ming Dynasty to form a new culture of “swordsman”. The exhibition will provide detailed elaboration on the topic.

The Art of Classical Chinese Swords

This exhibition is a journey through time to discover the origins and evolution of Classical Chinese Swords, tracing the rise and fall of weaponry culture, which was intertwined with the changing course of the state, through more than 40 traditional Chinese swords, archive photographs and writings. During the exhibition period, swordsmith from Longquan, China will be invited to talk about the sword-making techniques. Public are invited to interact with Kung Fu masters at demonstration.

Date: 22/09/2016 - 23/10/2016
Venue: 6/F, Yue Hwa Chinese Products, 301-309 Nathan Road, Kowloon